An expert in law tested Jesus by asking, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”
So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love The Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and all your mind’ and ‘your neighbour as yourself’. “
And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”
Then Jesus answered and said:
“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him and departed, leaving him half dead.
“Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on their side.
“Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked and passed by on the other side.
“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
“and went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
“On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper and said to him, ‘Take care of him and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.”
“So which of these three do you think was neighbour to him who fell among the thieves?”
And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37)
Reading through the Bible passage, it is obvious that knowing and loving our neighbour have so much to do with living ( or inheriting eternal life).
Interestingly, a Priest and a Levite who were devotees could not spare a moment to carry out the most rewarding assignment they signed up for. It was a Samaritan, a supposed outcast who helped their own brother.
After loving God first, with all our heart, soul, strength and mind; loving our neighbour as ourselves is next.
Who then is my neighbour?
In addition to the definition of a neighbour as someone living close to you, the biblical definition is; a person you least expect that will help you in time of need, who is there for you and work together with you to affirm the dignity entitled to every person as a child of God.
Please note that you also have this responsibility towards others.
The proof of our love for God is in how we relate with the people we know or love and those we neither know nor love. (Matthew 5:43-44, John 4:9; Romans 13:9-10, 1John 4:20).
The imperfections we see in other people’s lives, often make us see them as underserving of our love. If only we were always mindful of Romans 5:8 which reads, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”, we would be more patient, tolerant of others, doing everything within our power by God’s grace to help them, most especially rescuing them from hell.
Friends, if we all start loving our neighbours as ourselves today as God commanded, our churches, our homes, our nation and the society in general will be healed, experience heaven on earth and be better for it.
God bless you as you continue in Agape (God’s kind of love).