April 9, 2015 by pastorjdo3
Tuesdays study stemmed from Luke 10:25-37. Key verses for the discussion were verses 29 and 37.
Luke 10:29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
It turns, we are still asking this question today. We like the religious expert find ourselves taking God’s law and being become legalistic in applying it. Though we spend much time asking for grace and mercy to be applied to our case, we find our selves not giving the same consideration to others. We ask for this definition of “neighbor” to ease our sense of responsibility to share, sow, and show. We are constantly asking God to define our specific target, so that our legal minds can do just enough to both please Him and remain in His good graces. This is not the proper appropriation of the grace, mercy and forgiveness shown to us. Our God is a liberal God. He gives freely and often, making sure that our needs are met, regardless of our placement and positions. He lets is rain on the just and the unjust. He treated us as neighbor, when we were enemies of His; fully immersed in sin, with darkened hearts!
When in discussion, it was revealed through the text, that “neighbors” aren’t a product of distance or title, but a result of relationship and interaction. There are those of us who have people living in the house next door and or adjacent to our homes, and have yet to become a neighbor. If we are to be like Jesus, He teaches us that we are all neighbors, and have a responsibility for the well-being and needs of each other. Jesus looked on all with eyes of compassion. He, like the Samaritan (This would make a great sermon…..) came and encountered us just like the man on the road, and on His way to the cross, took the time to personally care for, heal, cast our and deliver, then left us someone to comfort us, until His return! And He picked up the tab (wish I was preaching right now!).
Both the Priest and the Levite passed by the man, who was robbed and beaten, passing by on the other side, in and effort to distance themselves from the person and the event. They, like many of us, revel and practice the letter of the law, and are void of the Spirit of the law! You can not move away from the problem and remove yourself from your spiritual obligation. A neighbor isn’t distance. Neighbor is relationship.
God requires us to have compassion over others who need our help! He wants us to use our training and resources to show forth His Love and give him the glory. The Samaritan personally cared for the man, cleaning and bandaging him, and broke his trip to spend the night attending to his needs. And then used his wealth to provide for him until the injured man was restored to health. This is going above and beyond. Were most would have given him water, and taken him to a safe place, the care and personal resources involved demonstrate what God expects of us, and also shows how one becomes a neighbor (Luke 10:36).
Luke 10:37 The expert in religious law said, “The one who showed mercy to him.” So Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”
Sometimes a saved people, we begin to think we are actually good, when the reality is that good is relative to God, thus none of us are good. We are not worthy of His love or resources but He shares and show it with us. This is why Jesus had to bring about fulfillment of the law. He had to restore the damage and misinterpretation and bad practices of the staff. Jesus ends, “Go and do the same”. Much like the great commission, we must realize that the showing of unconditional love, and allowing people to become neighbors through experiencing the compassion of God’s children is key to changing their hearts, making disciples and being counter to culture!