Who Is Your Neighbor?

Do you remember Mr. Rogers?
Every day, Mr. Rogers began his show singing a little song and at the end he would say, “…want you be my neighbor?” Well, who is our neighbor?
Is it the family living next door? Is it the families in our sub-division? The answer to the question is, “yes.” Our neighbor is the family next door and the family across the street etc…
In Luke 10, Jesus told a parable to illustrate who our neighbor is. It is known as “the parable of the Good Samaritan.” He told it to illustrate to the Jewish people that everyone is our neighbor… even, for the Jews, the despised Samaritans.
Jesus said that a certain man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho and was attacked by bandits. The bandits robbed him and left him for dead.
Shortly after this, a Priest came along. The Priest saw the man but, thinking he was dead, the Priest didn’t want to defile himself so he went around the man.
Shortly after that, a Temple assistant came along and again, walked around the man on the other side. Now, let’s pause a moment; the Priest and the Temple Assistant represented the religious people. If there religion was right, it would have led them to care for the man. But, they were more concerned about their rituals and their possible uncleanness, than they were helping the man.
But then, a Samaritan came along. The Jews despised the Samaritans so, a Samaritan was the least likely person, as far as the Jews were considered, to help this man. But, the Samaritan saw the man, and stopped. He didn’t walk around him like the Priest and Temple Assistant… he walked to the man and touched him. He soothed the man’s wounds with olive oil and wine and put bandages on them. Then, he put the man on his donkey and took him to the inn.  There, he gave the innkeeper two silver coins and told him to take care of the man and if the bill ran higher than the two coins, the man would pay the inn keeper.
Then Jesus asked, “which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man?” and the answer was, the Samaritan. In this parable, Jesus is teaching we are to love everyone and help everyone. The world and everyone in it is our neighbor.
So, today, let’s help our fellow man. Everyone is our neighbor.

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