Read Luke 10:25-37:
Among the Jews the question, “Who is my neighbour?” caused endless dispute. They had no doubt as to the heathen and the Samaritans. These were strangers and enemies. But where should the distinction be made among the people of their own nation and among the different classes of society? Whom should the priest, the rabbi, the elder, regard as neighbor? They spent their lives in a round of ceremonies to make themselves pure. Contact with the ignorant and careless multitude, they taught, would cause defilement that would require wearisome effort to remove. Were they to regard the “unclean” as neighbors?
This question Christ answered in the parable of the good Samaritan. He showed that our neighbor does not mean merely one of the church or faith to which we belong. It has no reference to race, color, or class distinction. Our neighbor is every person who needs our help. Our neighbor is every soul who is wounded and bruised by the adversary. Our neighbor is every one who is the property of God.
The parable of the good Samaritan was called forth by a question put to Christ by a doctor of the law. As the Saviour was teaching, “a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The Pharisees had suggested this question to the lawyer in the hope that they might entrap Christ in His words, and they listened eagerly for His answer. But the Saviour entered into no controversy. He required the answer from the questioner himself. “What is written in the law?” He asked, “How readest thou?” The Jews still accused Jesus of lightly regarding the law given from Sinai, but He turned the question of salvation upon the keeping of God’s commandments.
The lawyer said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” “Thou hast answered right,” Christ said; “this do, and thou shalt live.”
The lawyer was not satisfied with the position and works of the Pharisees. He had been studying the scriptures with a desire to learn their real meaning. He had a vital interest in the matter, and he asked in sincerity, “What shall I do?” In his answer as to the requirements of the law, he passed by all the mass of ceremonial and ritualistic precepts. For these he claimed no value, but presented the two great principles on which hang all the law and the prophets. The Saviour’s commendation of this answer placed Him on vantage ground with the rabbis. They could not condemn Him for sanctioning that which had been advanced by an expositor of the law.
“This do, and thou shalt live,” Christ said. In His teaching He ever presented the law as a divine unity, showing that it is impossible to keep one precept and break another; for the same principle runs through all. Man’s destiny will be determined by his obedience to the whole law.
Christ knew that no one could obey the law in his own strength. He desired to lead the lawyer to clearer and more critical research that he might find the truth. Only by accepting the virtue and grace of Christ can we keep the law. Belief in the propitiation for sin enables fallen man to love God with his whole heart and his neighbor as himself. COL 376-378
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for showing me what an awesome God You are and for always providing for my needs. Please forgive me when I have failed in revealing Your character in me to others, especially my neighbors—those in need of help I could have given. Please bless me to be more intentional to please You in this regard. Thank You, for I pray in the name of Jesus and through the ministry of Your Holy Spirit. Amen.
NOTE: These devotionals began as daily texts to encourage my academy roommate and dear friend of nearly 50 years, until she suddenly passed Feb 2023. Now I continue to compile and send them to anyone who will receive them and to her family in honor of their mom.
It is a prayerful process that may lead me to share from my personal study a Bible verse or passage and suitable commentary (or vice versa) and add a prayer. Some days, only a Scripture and prayer are ordered. I might even add a song.
Lately, I have begun featuring chapter portions of a select Bible-based book.
If you agree to continue receiving them, then this is my personal gift to you and in this way, I not only honor God but the memory of a very dear friend whom I desperately miss.
These are posted at baiom.org and shared on FaceBook and LinkedIn. I also text to my family, other loved ones, and contacts that add up to more than 120.
My personal prayer is that God will bless me to find ways to multiply this gift, so that we all may be encouraged to be found faithful in the sight of a Holy God, whenever Christ returns or our eyes are shut in the sleep of death.
So please feel free to forward to your loved ones or to anyone, as God leads you. I’m calling them Barb’s Devotionals.
Also Note! If at any time you prefer to stop receiving these as texts, then simply reply “Stop.”