Prayer: Great God, You have taught the hearts of Your faithful people by sending to us the teachings of Your Son, the light of Your Holy Spirit, and the illumination of Your Holy Word. Grant to us by this same Holy Spirit to make right decisions in all things and to rejoice in the comfort of Your Holy Spirit. We ask this through Your Son our Lord. Amen.
Read St Luke 10: 25 – 37
The story of the Good Samaritan. This story is full of neat stuff. A teacher of the law comes to Jesus and asks him a seemingly innocent question about eternal life. He asks Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” What an odd question. The Teacher of the Law has read the scriptures as the Jews and knows the Ten Commandments (and other laws) inside out and upside down and knows that in order to inherit eternal life, one must follow the laws. The Laws are part of his very life and essence of life.
Jesus responds by asking the Teacher of the Law what the law states. The Teacher answers correctly -- to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’]” (St Luke 10: 27 NIV Zondervan, 1983). Jesus replies that he has answered well and to go a live out these words.
Yet the Teacher of the law is not finished. He asks Jesus who is his neighbour. Ah. Here is the real question that the Teacher of the Law has in mind. Who is his neighbour.
Then Jesus gives three examples of people who walked by a man in need. Jesus then asks the Teacher of the Law who was a neighbour to the man in need. The Teachers answers that it was the Samaritan who was the neighbour. Jews and Samaritans were hostile neighbours. Even though they believed in God and worshipped God, time and geography had created a huge rift in their love of neighbour. Yet it was out of the love of God that the Samaritan helped a man lying on the road…. a man not of his ethnicity and in fact a man that was despised in general because of his ethnicity.
The Teacher of the Law states that the neighbour was the Samaritan. Jesus then tells the Teacher of the Law to go and do likewise. Go and do likewise. Help those who are not like you. Help those who are in need even if they look different than we do or smell funny to us. We are to help all those who need help. Those who need help might not be our next door neighbours but the people who live in our town. Jesus says that these are our neighbours. Anyone who needs help is our neighbour.
Today how will you go and do likewise?
Prayer: O Lord, grant to us that we may dwell in Your glory. Inspire our hearts and minds to always be a neighbour. May we be mercifully guided each day by Your Son our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.