LET’S LOVE OUR NEIGHBOURS
by Christine Caine
Then an expert in the law stood up to test him [Jesus], saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the law?” he asked him. “How do you read it?” He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.” “You’ve answered correctly,” he told him. “Do this and you will live.” But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” -Luke 10:25-29 CSB
The story of the Good Samaritan is a parable Jesus told about a man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, attacked by bandits, left half dead, tossed to the side of the road and left to die.
As the story goes, the first and second persons to come upon the man were religious people—a Jewish priest and a Levite—who knew God’s Word and had positions of authority in the synagogue. They both passed him by. The third man, who was not religious, but a native of Samaria, was moved with compassion. He went to him.
All three were on their way somewhere else, but only one was willing to be personally interrupted and inconvenienced. Only one gave of his time and resources. And he happened to be a Samaritan—a man from a race and culture of people despised by the Jews. This man loved as God loves, breaking down a barrier of prejudice and discrimination. He loved his neighbor as himself.
After Jesus told this story, he gave an instruction: “Go and do the same”(Luke 10:37).
When I first became aware of human trafficking, God used this story to guide me into my future. He emphasized a point to me: “He went over to him” (Luke 10:34).
I was a busy woman, a wife, a mother of two, with plenty to do, but God wanted to interrupt my life and my plans for his purpose. God wanted me to cross the road for people I’d never met and never knew existed. He wanted me to go find the missing men, women and children trapped in modern day slavery.
Who is your neighbor?
For me, the victims of human trafficking are my neighbors. The people I meet in churches are my neighbors. The woman who lives across the street is my neighbor. The homeless person I see is my neighbor. The person who needs something I can provide is my neighbor.
If we are to reach our world, then we need to see that everyone is our neighbor. Every person is worthy of our love regardless of their beliefs, actions or attitudes, because God sees them as loveable and redeemable by his grace.
God, I choose to cross the road, to help my neighbor, to love them as I love myself. Thank you for always prompting me, and helping me remember, I’m not too busy for them. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.