Love Thy Neighbor

Love-Thy-Neighbor-Sign-K-9538   By Pastor Jeff

Matthew 22:36-39, ” Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” 
I’m very grateful that Jesus didn’t say that we have to follow all the Old Testament laws for it’s been calculated that there are 613 commandments dealing with everything from what you could wear to what you could eat.

In the book of Luke another lawyer is on the scene and ask the same question, I don’t know if it is the same lawyer or a different one but the bible tells us that he wishing to justify himself ask Jesus who is my neighbor? It seems that this lawyer had a narrow vision on what a neighbor was as many of us also have. We think a neighbor is just the person or persons living in our immediate area but Jesus goes on here to completely change this mans view. In Luke 10:30-36 Jesus tells of on man heading from Jerusalem to Jericho who is attacked by thieves, robbed and wounded. Soon a Priest comes and seeing him lying there passes on the other side, after a short while a Levite comes with the same results. Jesus does not tell us why they passed by but don’t we likewise pass people by every day and many of those are hurting but we just don’t want to get involved for it may cost us time and money.

Soon after a Samaritan comes and based on the relationship between the Jews ond the Samaritans you would think that there would be no chance of any assistance. But Jesus tells us the Samaritan seeing the man had compassion and began to lend aid. He not only bandaged his wounds, he put him on his beast, took him to a inn, paid the keeper and told them if any other cost would be incurred he would make take care of it.

Jesus then asked the lawyer in verse 36, ” Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” Jesus then replies, “And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.” Jesus addressed this mans bigotry straight on as the church ought to do likewise, there is no room for discrimination of any kind in the kingdom of God. This does not mean we will always agree with everyone on every issue and we cannot excuse sin as well.

But we if possible always need to have the compassion to help another human being if we are able and Love is always the key, 1 John 4:7-8 says, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” After all Paul tells us at the end of 1 Corinthians 13 that the greatest of these is L.O.V.E. Let’s not ignore the hurting and rejected, let’s have a love that casteth out all fear!

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