For the past few weeks at Hollywood Community Church, we have been challenging you to prayerfully consider tangible ways to love your neighbor. This weekend we will distribute heart-shaped cards that tell you neighbor, “God loves you, and so do we!” I am so excited to hear how God uses you to be a blessing to YOUR neighbors.
In trying to figure out who to bless, you may ask, “Who is my neighbor?” That is a really good question. By the way, you are not the first person to ask that question. In Luke 10:29 the Pharisees asked Jesus the same question, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus responds by sharing one of His most well-known parables – The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37).
Jesus relates the story of a man with a great physical need – While traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, he was robbed, beaten and left for dead. Because he was left on the side of a well-traveled road, he was noticed by several people who passed by…
- A priest saw him, but in his busyness didn’t have time to stop.
- A Levite (Jewish religious leader) saw him, but didn’t want to dirty himself.
- Finally, a Samaritan spotted him and ministered to his needs.
This parable answers the question, “Who is my neighbor?”
Your neighbor is anyone God puts in your path
who has a need.
What is so amazing about this story is that the man who was beaten would not have considered the Samaritan his neighbor, because the Jews did not like the Samaritans (John 4:9). Yet the Samaritan showed true, genuine, neighborly love for a man who despised him. The true moral of the story is not who is your neighbor, but rather, what kind of neighbor are you? As a follower of Jesus Christ, you should be the most loving, caring, considerate neighbor on your street.
So let me ask you to prayerfully think through the following questions:
- Who on your street or in your life has a need (physical, material or emotional)?
- Who in your life can you show unexpected love?
- Who do you know that needs a friend?
- Which neighbors have you not yet met?
Those are wonderful questions to prayerfully consider. Please know that I am interceding for you, as you ask the Lord which “neighbor/neighbors” He would have you to demonstrate His love.
Let’s be the heart and hands of Jesus!