Monday: Love Your Neighbor

To live like Jesus means to show the same love He demonstrated. He illustrated this kind of love through the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37), which He told in dialogue with a lawyer. The lawyer summarized our duty to God and fellow human beings: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27, NKJV). The lawyer knew His Bible well (he quoted by heart Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18), but he must have felt guilty for not demonstrating love to his neighbor. In an attempt to justify himself, he asked Jesus: Who is my neighbor? (Luke 10:29, NKJV).

Image © Providence Collection from

Image © Providence Collection from

How did Jesus explain who is our neighbor? What implications does the parable of the good Samaritan have for us? See Luke 10:30-37. How is the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself related to the golden rule? Matt. 7:12.

To the question: who is my neighbor? Jesus answered, basically, that our neighbor is every person who needs our help. Thus, instead of asking: what can my neighbor do for me? we should ask: what can I do for my neighbor?

Jesus went far beyond the usual negative rendering of this rule at that time: do not do to others what you yourself dislike. By presenting it in a positive way, He addressed not only what we need to avoid but especially what we have to do. We need especially to remember that this principle does not tell us to treat others as they treat us. After all, it’s easy to be kind to those who are kind to us or nasty to those who are nasty to us; most people can do that. Instead, our love toward our neighbor should always be independent of the way our neighbor treats us.

Think of someone who has treated you in a bad way. How have you treated them in return? What does Christ’s example, and how He treated those who mistreated Him, teach you about how you could better relate to those who don’t treat you kindly?



Monday: Love Your Neighbor — 11 Comments

  1. The love of God can only come into our heart by way of the Holy Spirit and not without our permission. We cannot make this Love or perform it just by trying harder to be kind. This Love Jesus represented to us on Earth is only from God and we can receive it by choosing to let the Holy Spirit motivate us in and through every issue of our lives. "Watch and pray."

  2. As I understand it, the Holy Spirit motivates the thoughts and feelings in our mind, then our mind motivates our body. Words and actions result from the mind/will. As the Holy Spirit works God's will into our will we do according to ways of God in our life. This type of life is easy once the Holy Spirit is allowed to motivate us. It does take some trust in God to do this.

    Trying to do the right things in our selfish motivation, even to get to heaven, is impossible even though we might fool some people--and maybe even ourselves.

  3. I wonder how many of us love our neighbors enough that we would be willing to let them be saved in place of us. Sometimes when I hear Christians talk to one another, they make salvation sound so selfish. Being saved sounds like winning the lottery, or having a perpetual retirement plan.

    Moses was willing to give up eternity for the sake of the Children of Israel. Jesus was willing to die for us to be saved. We are critical of those cultures who have developed a "cargo-cult" mentality here, but we need to carefully re-examine our own attitudes to salvation, as there is the potential for us to sound very cargo-cultish when we talk about salvation.

    When we say that we are saved, does that mean we are assured of a place in heaven, or that we are willing to take part in God's kingdom now? (A note to the pedantic - OR does not mean EXCLUSIVE OR - Those of you who have done boolean algebra will know what I mean. (grin))

    • Maurice, I think you mean to be saved along with us instead of in place of us. That would mean I would have to give up hope for life eternal so someone else can have that life. Sharing Gods love means just that.

    • I have had this discussion a few times. In our church and with me and mt wife. Just cause we are baptized or saved does not Sucre us a place in heaven. It is a promise to god that we are going to change our ways and that we are going to become different people.

      I know i need to work on this my self. But i try to treat everyone i come in contact the same. Cause we never know what life has in store for us. What if a year from now I'm living on the streets? I would hope that someone would show me the love of Christ.

    • Yes, I agree that the mind of God was reflected in Abraham's plea for Sodom and Gomorrah and Moses' plea for the children of Israel.

      Abraham didn't persuade God to do anything He wasn't otherwise/already willing to do--neither did Moses. (And just to make it clear, in both cases, Abraham and Moses were pleading for the wicked and not the righteous).

  4. “A certain man,” said Jesus, “was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, which both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance a certain priest was going down that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And in like manner a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side.” Luke 10:30-32, R. V. This was no imaginary scene, but an actual occurrence, which was known to be exactly as represented. The priest and the Levite who had passed by on the other side were in the company that listened to Christ’s words. DA 499.1

  5. Jesus choice of characters for this parable must have rankled his religious audience. The Samaritan, despised by the Jews for their worldliness, shows mercy and compassion to a man coming from Jerusalem. And representatives from the Jewish religion showed no mercy whatsoever. In modern times what would this story look like? I am reminded by this parable to focus more on how I can be loving in practical ways and avoid the danger of self righteousness.

    • Well, what compounds this is that the Levites and Priest were avoiding the situation in order to remain ceremonially clean! (Leviticus 22)
      They were afraid of becoming unclean according to the laws of the OT (Bible at that time).
      Wasn't that noble?
      What better motive could there be?

  6. By beholding and meditating on christ's love He provided on the cross, this love will reflect to my neighbour and he ll see love in me while yet its from God in reality.....


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