This weeks subject as you can see from the video to this post is Loving Your Neighbor. We hear that phrase thrown around a lot but don’t always know the depth or severity of it. We don’t always realize that means people we love and people that we don’t like. To Love Your Neighbor as Yourself is not only to show love to those that love you back but to those that hate you and want nothing to do with you.
As I was asking God to show me what to write for this blog he brought me to the parable of the Good Samaritan. I have read that parable so much I could tell it to you with my eyes closed and yet the Lord always points something new out when I read or study it.
As you may or may not know, the story Jesus told is about a man who was robbed, beaten severely, clothes taken, and left for dead. As he was laying on the side of the road a priest (Jewish religious leader) came and saw the man, crossed the street to walk on the other side and left the man. Then a Levite, the priest right hand man, did the exact same thing. Saw the beaten up man, crossed the road, and went on his way.
Then a Samaritan comes along. Now we always put a good in front of Samaritan but the Jews did not think the same. The Jews and Samaritans had a history with each other. They could not stand one another. Mainly due to religious differences they had. They couldn’t see eye to eye on where to worship or who was God’s chosen people were, etc. They disliked each other so much that the leaders of each group told their people not to talk, associate, or be in the others territory. That is quite the hatred they had for each other.
So for Jesus to use a Samaritan to save the day was pretty radical. To make the Samaritan the hero was not what a good Jew should be saying. In the parable the Samaritan had pity on the Jewish man that was beat up. He bandaged his wounds, put oil over the mans body, took him into town, got him a room, and then told the inn keeper if there is any more expenses that he did not pay for then he would be back to pay the extra.
Don’t you see to Love one’s neighbor as yourself means you treat people the way you want to be treated whether you can see eye to eye with them or not. You show respect and kindness even when they don’t like you and have spoken ill of you. You bless those who cures you. Pray for those who hate you. When a person is in need, whether they like you or not, you help them.
Loving people comes without strings attached in God’s eyes. God wants us to love people even when there is nothing in return. As the book of Luke puts it:
“But Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
The way God wants us to love each other isn’t easy and it can hurt doing it, but in the end it is worth it. And even when you can’t love your enemies God will give you the strength and love you need in order to do so, all you need to do is ask.