And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 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. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 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. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37)
This is one of the most well known parables that Jesus taught during his earthly ministry. “The Parable of the Good Samaritan” teaches us a lot about what it means to be a follower of Jesus and what it means to love one another. When we understand who our neighbors are (which is everyone we encounter) and we understand what we are to do, it should impact us and change our interactions.
The Samaritan showed mercy to the injured Jewish traveler which was so countercultural to the people that heard the story at the time. And the same can be said for today for believers to show mercy and love to those who others would say are “enemies”. When the Gospel impacts us in the way that it should then it will play out in loving not just our friends but also our enemies and show that all are neighbors to us.
Jesus told the lawyer to “Go and do likewise” in showing mercy. Let us this week do the same in showing love and mercy to our neighbors around us.