An Introduction to Your Neighbor

By CBM National intern, Paul Daly –

“Who is my neighbor?” the lawyer tested Jesus. In his mind, neighbors were those that were of his nationality and religion. His neighbor was the man that was a Jew, like him. The lawyer’s intention behind the question was flawed. Nevertheless, Jesus’ intention behind His answer was different, and His response teaches us a profound lesson about the love that He expects from us.

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Rather than answering, “A Jew should love a Jew,” like I believe the lawyer wanted to hear, Jesus tells him a story. Jesus never reveals the nationality or religion of the main protagonist; instead, He refers to him as simply “a man.” He was beaten by robbers and left for dead. A priest walked by, saw the man, and ignored him. A Levite walked by, saw the man, and ignored him. But it wasn’t until the Samaritan saw him that the man in Jesus’ story was helped.

The Good Samaritan was not the neighbor that Jesus’ interrogator was expecting. The Good Samaritan was a stranger, an annoyance, and an enemy. He was not of the Jewish lawyer’s nationality, religion, or political standing.

Every day, I walk into an apartment complex full of modern day Samaritans and help them with their homework. These people have different nationalities, religions, and politics, but to Jesus, they are my neighbor and need genuine love. They are Congolese, Nepali, Karen, Afghani, and Iraqi. Some of them are Christians, and some of them are Muslim. Their names are Hassan, Michel, Seraphin, Fatema, Mustafa, Ariette, Taha, and Aung, among many, many others. These are our neighbors, Church.

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A couple Friday nights ago, I visited a boys’ Bible study led by a missionary who lives in the apartment complex. Twenty-one refugee boys sat in a small living room, silent and respectful, as the missionary explained why Jesus had to suffer on the cross for us. It was beautiful, inspiring, and a demonstration of how God can show Himself mighty, beginning with Homework Help.

We are totally different than Jesus, yet He counted us as His neighbor. He loved us enough to do much more than help us – Heobediently gave up His very life to save us. If Jesus can love a sinner like me, I can love my neighbors, such as the refugees.

Find a neighbor. Learn their name. Learn their culture. Learn their needs. Love them first, and then, when the opportunity is open, intentionally introduce them to your Savior.

Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Luke 10:36-37

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