June 3, 2020 Midweek Devotional Scripture: Luke 10:25-29 (NLT)One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” MeditationJesus answered the legal expert by telling the Parable of the Good Samaritan: Along a dangerous road a man is beaten, robbed, and left for dead. Three people come his way: two religious people, and one more person, from perhaps the most despised people group of Jesus’ day, a Samaritan.
The two religious people, who should have had a clear understanding of God’s law, passed by the man. But the least likely person of all, the Samaritan, stopped and showed compassion beyond what anyone would have expected.The legal expert had correctly quoted Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. He understood the law required him to love his neighbor. His only question was “who is my neighbor?” After telling the parable, Jesus turned the question back to him by asking, “Of the three men, who was the neighbor to the one in need?”Jesus’ point was that while the legal expert knew the law, he did not understand the spirit in which God had given it, and that spirit was the spirit of love.
For the legal expert, and for you and me, the question is not “who is my neighbor?” In the spirit of God’s love, the question is always “how can I be a neighbor to the one in need?” Thoughts for ReflectionLack of love is often easy to justify, even though it is never right. Where is this evidenced in my life?Our neighbor is anyone of any race, creed, or social background who is in need? Is this belief evidenced in my life?Love mean’s acting to meet a person’s need. Who can I be a neighbor to this week in my church or community? Blessings for your day, Pastor Kim