Sep 24, 2017

Devotion - 24 Sept - Who is Your Neighbor?

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin. We continue a seven Sunday series on “Making Disciples”.
Gospel Reading- Luke 10:29-37
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.35 And the next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
Devotion: Who is your Neighbor?
Recall that last week the lawyer answered the question correctly: God commanded us to love Him and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Now, this week the lawyer seems to be hedging somewhat by asking who is his neighbor? I’ll bet that you have heard this good Samaritan story before but I would like to bring up two issues that are not commonly mentioned. First, the people of the church [meaning organized religion-the priest and the Levite] did nothing to help, it was an “ordinary” and despised person [the Samaritan] who acted in love. I believe this might indicate that making disciples through loving our neighbor is not to be “pinned” on the organized church leaders [with no disrespect to them intended here] but on us individually through personal relationships. We all should take responsibility for this mission and not push it off solely on the Pastors or the Elders or the Deacons. The second point I will make is that the lawyer does get the idea that the Samaritan was the one who loved his neighbor and acted upon it. But look closely, he does not respond to Jesus by selecting “the Samaritan” as the answer—I think he says, through clenched teeth: “the one who shows mercy”. I believe this indicates the lawyer shows great prejudice, as some Jews did, against the Samaritans. We can learn from this too – we should ask God’s help in avoiding prejudice. It may help us get over our biases and stereotypical beliefs. Life is tough, it is a lot tougher if you try it without God’s help.

We pray: “Lord make me more like you.  Amen”