Love Thy Neighbor!

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”  But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”  Luke 10:28-29 (NIV)

Everyone is looking to the Teacher.  Some come to learn.  Some come to see what the fuss is about.  Would some even want to find a reason not to take Him seriously?  An expert wanted to try Jesus´ direction on the Scriptures.  He came asking for the bottom line.  But did Jesus hand the question back to him?  Did Jesus let the man find his own answer?  By doing so was He able not only to instruct the man, but us as well?  Which direction did He lead the man?  Would it be crucial for us too?  Might we also find out something special about Jesus?  Could we learn a little more of what we should be getting out of the Scriptures?

The man in the story asks for us, just what it is that we should be doing if we are interested in having part with the Lord?  He is one of those people who are looking for something more.  He is not satisfied with merely getting the most out of this life.  Is he strange?  Are there others like him who search Scripture and Heavens for bigger causes, and for bigger intentions?  Can we join him in this quest for learning?  Can we see the intelligence in this scholar´s question to Jesus?  Did he cleverly jump past all the minor issues?  Does he go straight to the heart of the issue?  He asks bluntly and directly what that one thing is that will open the doors of Heaven.  Is that the bottom line?  Is that the great question which unlocks all other marvelous treasure?  Where does Jesus lead?

The educated man gives his finest answer.  He says that we should love the Lord with everything we´ve got.  He states that we should love our neighbor too.  Could he have picked a better response?  Had all his years of study paid off?  Did even Jesus like his answer?  But was it enough?  Had the man intelligently seen that no amount of pious, forced expressions will show where our hearts truly lie?  Did he correctly direct our attention to God?  Was love the deciding factor?  Has he nailed the question right on the head?  Or was Jesus not finished with the lesson?  Did the Savior want us to know a little more?  Was it His intention to show us that we can hold many truths in theory only?  Did He need us to know that for us to truly be ushered into a land of awareness; we must first live what we preach?

Jesus goes on to tell the story of the Good Samaritan.  As we listen, do we begin to see how important compassion is?  Is the Lord giving us a world of instruction in just one small story?  Can we read it again and again?  How does the Spirit lead us when we do?  What is He telling us?  Can we rest on our standing in church or society?  Can we rest on a series of rules or regulations?  Or is Jesus telling us what should be found in our hearts?  How are we going out of our way to care for those around us?  What is going on deep in our soul?  Are we quoting good texts or good theories?  Or are we living a life moved by the love welling up within us?  Are we so in love with God that it pours out to all His children everywhere?  Is it time we start asking questions of ourselves?  Or are we scared to learn who our neighbors really are?

Dear Jesus, we bring our questions to You today.  Lead us and teach us now.  Is the final test still love?  What do You see in us?  What instruction do You have?  Will you tell us again today, to go and do likewise?  Please open our hearts.  Show us what it is to love.  Fill us to overflowing!  Then show us how to care for our neighbors too, we pray! 

Amen

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