Monday, May 10, 2010
Jesus...insights from His life.
Jesus was asked the question directly:
Who is my neighbor?
Our answer to that is most often - "the one who lives fairly near me."
Jesus answer to that question is - your neighbor is the one who you draw near too.
Big contrast here.
He tells as story to show what he means...about a man, Jewish, involved in a travel incident where (at a rest stop?) he is stripped, beaten and left half dead.
Lost identity, lost cash, lost life?
A priest happens by and avoids involvement - ouch.
A Levite, (assistant to priests - elders,deacons,society "good person") - also does nothing - ouch.
A Samaritan, a culturally "outside" person (to a Jew) does the following:
a. comes close to where he is lying - gets involved
b. binds up his wounds - does what he can
c. pours cleansing and healing oil on him - gives what will heal
d. puts him in his "car" and brings him to a Holiday Inn, giving the front desk sufficient guarantee of payment for them to care for him until he returns - to take care of him further! (His objective is "get him well" not do the quick fix and disappear)
Which of these three persons "proved to be a neighbor to the man in need?"
The correct answer:
"The one who showed mercy to him."
Mercy is to show compassion, even towards one non-connected to my life - to express love, costly love, love that makes a difference
So being a neighbor has very little to do with land proximity and everything to do with our hearts pulling close to a person on our journey that we discover is in need. Then, being a neighbor is doing something to show them God loves them, and we do too.
Got some neighbors?...per Jesus definition.
Oh yes, they could be sitting close, or working close, or living close.
But being a neighbor is about what we do, not they.
And what God does through us in consequence.