“But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?” Luke 10:29
The man who asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbour?” was a Jewish lawyer, one of those responsible for the interpretation of the word of God.
The Jews commonly interpreted the word neighbour either as one related to them by nature or one that professed the same religion. To correct this notion, Christ told the parable of the Good Samaritan.
The Samaritan was not a Jew, but he was a good neighbour to a Jewish man who fell among thieves. The Samaritan had compassion on the poor Jew when his fellow Jews, a priest and a Levite, showed no concern for him. The parable must have been particularly galling to the lawyer. He could not but accept what Jesus said, but he found it very difficult to admit that a Samaritan had been a good neighbour to a Jew. When Christ asked him, “Which now of these three [the Samaritan, the priest, or the Levite] … was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” he couldn’t bring himself to say “the Samaritan.” He simply said, “He that shewed mercy on him.” Jesus replied, “Go, and do thou likewise.”
We have a duty to all around us: to pray for them, to witness to them, to live godly lives before them, and to do all we can to help them. The Bible says: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” That is extremely hard to do and is a real test of our spirituality. Bishop J. C. Ryle asked: “What are we doing for the heathen at home and abroad? What are we doing to help those who are troubled in mind, body or estate? There are many such in this world. There are always some near our own doors. What are we doing for them? Anything, or nothing at all? May God help us to answer these questions! The world would be a happier world if there was more practical Christianity.”
Quote: “The measure of our love for others can largely be determined by the frequency and earnestness of our prayers for them.” A. W. Pink
Daily devotions are from the book “A Word in Season” published by Let the Bible Speak. © Let the Bible Speak 2010 – All Rights Reserved.