• Dr. Dan Haifley

Like a good neighbor....

“And he answering said, Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind and thy neighbor as thyself.” Luke 10:27

This verse is the answer that a lawyer gave to Jesus when Jesus asked him what the law said was necessary for him to inherit eternal life. When the lawyer gave this answer Jesus responded with “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” But the lawyer didn’t seem to appreciate the answer and countered with “Who is my neighbor.” By asking this question he tried to avoid the truth that he knew by redefining it. He knew what the law said, but because he didn't like how it convicted him, he tried to question what it really meant.

Jesus responded to his dodgy reply by telling a story about a good Samaritan. The Samaritan was someone that the Jews hated for political and religious reasons. Yet in this story the Samaritan was more of a neighbor than the most religious of the leaders of that day. That story gives us the road map for how we should behave towards those we disagree with.

It's easy to love my neighbor as myself if my neighbor has certain qualifications. If they agree with me or If they have the same political and religious bias, I can get there. But real Christianity is laying aside all of our restrictions and qualifications and loving everyone indiscriminately. You see, it is not wrong to be angry at sin. It is not wrong to be angry at deception. But it is wrong to let that anger provoke us to hate our fellow man, no matter who they are, or what they have done.

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