"Jesus asked, 'Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?' The man said, 'The one who showed him mercy.' Jesus said to him, 'Go and do likewise.'”
- Luke 10:36-37
In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, a man tries to test Jesus by asking exactly to whom God's command to 'love your neighbor as yourself' should apply. Instead of lecturing him for trying to find a loophole in the commandment, Jesus tells the story of a man who was beaten by robbers and left for dead on the side of the road. Several religious men passed by but did nothing to help him. Then a Samaritan - who in Bible times, was seen as an enemy of the Jews - appears on the scene and proceeds to clean the man up, bandage his wounds, and pay for his continued care.
So, who is your neighbor? Everyone, Jesus says. Friends, family, strangers. People you know, and those you wish you didn't, including the one person you might consider your worst enemy. Everyone is your neighbor, even when it makes you uncomfortable. A few years ago, Jana was that person... addicted to drugs, unemployed, and homeless. Listen to how one church treated her like the neighbor Jesus says she is...
Are we loving our neighbors as the church loved and cared for Jana? How are we being asked to apply Jesus' message in our own lives, especially when it comes to the homeless?
Questions to Consider:
- How do you/your church live out Jesus's parable of the Good Samaritan?
- What aspects of Jana's story resonate with you?
- How would you/your church treat someone like Jana?
- What are ways that you/your church can get involved in helping the homeless?
- Who are the 'neighbors' in your life?