Who Is Thy Neighbor?

There is a story in the bible in Luke 10 beginning at verse 25, of a lawyer and Jesus having a conversation and in the conversation the lawyer questions Jesus about what he needs to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus encourages the lawyer into answering his own question based on the Jewish law. The answer was to Love God with all our heart, soul and all our strength, along with Loving thy neighbor as thyself. Jesus commends him for his correct reply and the lawyer then asks Jesus, “Who is my neighbor”?

Who is your neighbor?

Jesus replies by telling the story of a man who was robbed of his possessions, beat up and left along the side of the road half dead. Passers-by come along a priest, who steers himself to the other side of the road so as to avoid the man and a levite who does the same, but a Samaritan, good one I say, stopped and showed compassion for the man, even taking him out of his way to an inn to be cared for at his cost.

Wow! How many of you have inconvenienced yourselves to do something like that for someone?

Now this story comes to a close when Jesus asks the lawyer, “which one of the three was neighbor to the man that fell prey to the thieves”? The lawyer replies, “the Samaritan that showed mercy to the man”, and Jesus replies back to the lawyer, “go and do likewise.”

What possessed the Samaritan to inconvenience himself like that, spending his precious time, money and going out of his way to get the dying man to the inn? Have you ever inconvenienced yourself like that, with no expectation of return? What stirred him to show mercy and assist the dying man?

It was Love. The recognition of the spark of life, that gift we all have in common and the willingness so the Grace could work through him, to give up himself to attend to another. That’s Love.

Now this bible story was a spot-on, ripe analogy to share this “who is thy neighbor”, question; today more than ever. In catastrophe, we hear stories like this but the need is far greater than occasional.

I’m sure that for most of us we have assisted in some ways family and friends but a perfect stranger, lying half dead on the side of the road, not likely we have had that experience. We judge and think we know sometimes, the ego can have it’s way with us like that, but I think what stops for instance the priest and the levite, what stopped them was fear. Fear to get involved, fear to extend themselves out of their comfort zones or fear of the unknown. The Samaritan was a warrior and the power of Love worked through him to show mercy and assist his neighbor.

Fear and Love cannot occupy your thoughts at the same time, they cannot exist together and if you try, you will be in conflict with yourself and this is where many occupy themselves, in conflict. Should I, could I and I would have but. The power of Love is far greater than most realize. The depth and scope is beyond human understanding, for it reaches out from the very Pure Love of the Divine and works through us and sometimes whether we like it or not. Love is a reality of things eternal.

From “Layman’s Terms” page 41 danielprovost©

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