The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Our Neighbor

"Which of these three do you suppose was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers? The expert in the law replied, 'the one who had mercy on him.' Jesus told him, 'Go and do likewise' " (Luke 10: 36-37).

We are into a study of the parables in our Wednesday night Bible class, so perhaps today's verses sound a bit familiar. They are the words of wisdom by Jesus to the lawyer at the end of the parable of the Good Samaritan. This parable is a popular one for teachers to use in their children's Sunday School Class, and well it should be. But as we read the parable and examine it, it is surely an important lesson for adults. To refresh your memory, the parable is given in response to the question; "And who is my neighbor?" (V 25)

The beauty and irony in the parable revolves around a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho who is robbed and beaten and left on the side of the road for dead. Nothing is told of the nationality of the beaten man, but we know completely about those other three involved. The priest and Levite who passed by and didn't help were Jewish. The third man who did help was a man of Samaria, a nationality of people looked down upon by the Jews. There lies the irony. The Jewish men knew that they were to, "love your neighbor as your self." They probably thought that the Samaritan man would not have adhered to this law....What a surprise! It is not enough to see that an injustice has been done, but to act upon that injustice. There is a broad difference between simply having pity, and acting on that pity.

In the book of James we find these words; "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." (1:22) James goes on to say that a man who does this is like someone looking into a mirror and forgetting what he looks like. Jesus wants doers! He said; "Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave. Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give up his life as a ransom for many" (Matt. 20: 27-28). Does He sound like the priest, Levite or Samaritan? It is easy to feel guilt sometimes when we read and study this parable. We see so much suffering around the world but just go about our business, because we don't know how to help. There are a few more lessons in this parable that should help.... More tomorrow...

Have a wonderful day...It would be fitting after this writing to say, go about doing good. Love mark Phil. 4:11

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