Serving Neighbors, Serving God


Cross any barrier to love your neighbor

Question

  1. How many times have you helped your neighbor?
  2. Have you help your neighbor with out wanting something in return?
  3. How often do you check on your elderly neighbors.

Nate thought he knew his way around the city, but he finally had to admit to himself that he was lost. He figured he wasn’t in the part of town where it was safe to pull into an obscure alley, but he did so anyway to check his GPS. Having calculated where he’d made a misturn, he began to pull out of the alley when he looked up to see some young toughs pushing around a older homeless man. They’re not really hurting him, he thought to himself, but they are stripping him of any shred of dignity he has left. Nate was faced with an either-or decision: Either he could drive away and leave the man to the harassment, or he could try to intervene and help.

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photo from https://urbantimes.co/2013/12/20-simple-acts-of-kindness-you-can-do-every-single-day/

In an instant, he opened the driver’s side door of his car, stood erect on his left leg, and shouted for the thugs to leave the poor man alone. He was somewhat surprised when youths simultaneously looked in his direction and took off running the other way. left alone in the alley, the homeless man peered through sad eyes at Nate, who was now faced with another either-or decision : Either he could slide back into his car and drive away, or he could provide some momentary relief to the troubled old man.

Nate cleared the passenger seat of the newspapers and magazines as the homeless man humbly got into the car. Nate regain his bearings and located a familiar coffee shop, where he treated the man to a warm drink and a cinnamon roll– and an hour of his time. Then he drove him to and escorted him into a nearby rescue shelter. Getting back into his car, he knew he had made the right decisions.

  1. What kinds of barriers do we build between us and other people?
  2. Why have you sometimes not gotten involved in the plight of strangers?
  3. Why is taking risks part of being a disciple of Jesus?

A Lawyer’s Question

Luke 10:25-29, KJV

25. And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

26. He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

27. And he answering said, Thou shalt love the love 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.

28. And he said unto him, thou hast answered right: this do , and thou shalt live.

29. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor?

In the Parable of the of the good Samaritan, Jesus taught a radical application of the second great commandment–love for one’s shocking for the Jews He defined “neighbor” correctly, but it was totally shocking for the Jews of His time.

This passage begins with Jesus having an encounter with a Nomikos, a “lawyer,” here termed an “expert in the law,” As teachers of Old Testament law, these were the legal experts among Jewish religious leaders.

4. Why did the lawyer “test” Jesus? How did Jesus test him?

5. How did the “expert in the law” answer his own question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

6. Why would the  lawyer feel the need to “justify himself“?

7. Who would the legal expert think was his neighbor?

The Lord’s Answer

Luke 10:30-34

30.  And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and pass by on the other side.

33. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, cam where he was: and when he saw him,he has compassion on him,

34. And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

8. Why might the religious leaders not have stopped to help the man?

9. Why is it so remarkable that the Samaritan stopped?

10. According to Jesus, who is really our “neighbor”?

Truly Merciful

The Good Samaritan went out of his way to help because he felt deep compassion for the victim who was robbed and beaten. He felt and acted with the kind of mercy Jesus wants all of us to have for our neighbors. We often must cross tough personal barriers in order to love those in need, and when we do, our hearts change to be more like Christ’s.

What barriers keep you from helping someone you know who needs help? Ask the Lord to help you cross every barrier you face to go to that person.

Key Verse
Luke 10:36-37 KJV
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

 

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