Love Your Neighbor As Yourself-Simple Truth

Rule Number 1: Don’t test Jesus.  You’ll look like a dope, get an answer you don’t want, and it’ll be something you can’t achieve apart from Him. 

Expert is … as expert does … as one expert finds out when he decides to test Jesus.

Luke 10:25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you read it?”

(You can almost see the elementary school hands waving madly in the air and hear young voices saying “Oh, oh, oh!  Call on me, Teacher!”) 

27 He answered: “‘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.'”

(Teacher’s pet.)

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself,

(Don’t go there….)

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

(Uh-oh, buddy.  See what you’ve done? You’ve just unleashed a parable.  But it’s a good one.)

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

(Pop quiz)

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Expert is … as expert does.

What do you have to do to inherit eternal life?  Jesus says to love God and rise to the higher standard and definition of neighbor: instead of selfish apathy towards others or judging them and walking on by, have mercy on them.

Yet how many of us walk on by our hurting or vulnerable neighbors because we’re too busy, don’t really care, don’t want to get involved, don’t want to stand out by standing up for the truth, or be judged for it?  The expert in the law testing Jesus couldn’t bring himself to choke out the words “the Samaritan.”  So, he said “the one who had mercy.”  The truth is the Samaritan had mercy in his heart and action in his hands. 

Good intentions might make us feel better but they are not a substitute for truth or action.  Who in your life could use an advocate, a champion of mercy and truth? 

Love your neighbor as yourself.  It’s a simple truth of Scripture.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on April 14, 2018

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