“‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’ The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.'” — Luke 10:36-37
Who Is My Neighbor?
A dentist I once discipled literally fell in love with his neighbor while he was in dental school. He found out his neighbor was a Christian and the physical therapist for a friend battling cancer. He asked her out and they eventually got engaged. The theme for their wedding was “Love Your Neighbor.”
When Jesus commands us to love our neighbor, He’s not talking about our literal neighbor (although it could be). And He’s not talking about romantic love. In Luke 10:29, Jesus is asked by an expert of Old Testament law, “Who is my neighbor?”
Jesus responds with the well-known story of the Good Samaritan. Here it is boiled down to its essence: Our neighbor is whoever we see that has a need we can meet. The man who was beaten and robbed had a need for care and attention. The Samaritan saw the man’s need and met his needs. In doing so, he proved to be the man’s neighbor.
We need to slow down enough to see the people around us, see their needs, and meet them. So your neighbor may be at your job or school or in your neighborhood or church. The needs may be material or immaterial. Pray that God would show you your neighbor and his or her needs.
— Ikki Soma, Houston Rockets chaplain
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