There is a good story in God’s Word, where a certain lawyer, quite educated and knowledgeable, decided to ask a question to “test” Jesus and redeem his lead in the conversation. The Lawyer asked Jesus,
Who is my neighbor?
In other words, how should sisters treat each other? How should I treat my fellow brother in God, and what about people I do not know- strangers? So Jesus went ahead and described the type of people-treatment that pleases Him?
A Biblical neighbor certainly isn’t one when they see the family of seven across the street, with one bread-winner, running short on food and funds, unable to buy their kids presents; that we although the new Lexus GX sport pass these neighbors by, without even a wink while headed to our six bedroom [five of which are empty] deluxe luxury home.
To describe a real neighbor, Jesus shared: There was a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho; a short eighteen-mile journey that proved to be dangerous. The man was beaten, money taken and stripped.
The brutally wounded man would be easily noticed by any other travelers on that road. And there certainly were travelers. So it was that a Priest, called a Pastor in most circles, was the first to see the wounded sojourner. Instead of this Priest stopping to attend to a man who was clearly in need of help, **(He was probably hurrying to teach to his Popular Bible Study, where he “just couldn’t be late”) scripture states, the Priest just kept on walking pass the man.
Interesting enough, the second person to come by was a Levite, who in Jewish circles was a Priest’s aide! Whose responsibilities was suppose to be basically the same. The Levite “came and looked” at the man, and likewise passed the wounded by on the other side of the street! [Did he check the man’s pulse? temperature? anything?! N. O.]. But just like the Priest, He just kept going where He was going, something he just considered “more important” than attending to this family member, friend or neighbor that is hurting!
The irony of the story is that the person we least expect to care, does something that they all should have done. It was a Samaritan. When the Samaritan saw the wounded, bleeding man, he stopped off his horse, bandaged the man’s wounds, AND paid for his care as he healed! Keep in mind, Samaritans were hated cousins of the Jews, due to pagan worship and intermarriage with Gentiles.
But this story says that no matter who you are or where you’re from, when you consider the needs of another- friend, or strangers; those who praise us and those who pull us; those who support us and those who despise us for whatever reason- WE OUGHT TO LOVE THEM ANYWAY. TO TREAT THEM AS WE WANT TO BE TREATED.
That is a true neighbor and this gives Christ praise!
Teach us to love and support our fellow sisters in Christ!
For we don’t know whether we can win a sister over by our love
displayed towards them. As we enter this Christmas season, Father
may our world truly display peace on earth and good will to men! -Luke 2:13-14
In Jesus’ Name.