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Nagunae
Dec 6th 2013, 01:44 AM
Luke 10:25-29 (NIV)
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘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, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

At this point, Jesus goes on to tell the "expert in the law" the Parable of the Good Samaritan. We all know the story: A guy gets mugged and is left for dead by the side of the road. A priest, who should know better, passes by without helping. A Levite, who also should know better, goes on past without lending a helping hand. A Samaritan (Samaritans were hated by Jews and the feelings were mutual), on the other hand, stops and helps the injured man. He goes way out of his way, as a matter of fact, to help this person in desperate need of help.

Preacher and professor Dr. Haddon Robinson does a superb job of summing up the moral of the story this way: My neighbor is anyone whose need I see, whose need God puts me in a position to meet.

And then we have these nice verses from First John:

1 John 4:20-21 (NIV)
20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

I don't mean to sound harsh (or maybe I do), but unless you love your brother/neighbor (that is, unless you help those whose need you see and whose need God has put you in a position to meet), isn't any grand pronouncement of your love for God a bunch of pious nonsense? I hope that I can one day state that I love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all my mind, without being guilty of any type of disingenuousness.

Nick
Dec 7th 2013, 09:06 PM
The NIV notes for those verses say that our neighbor is anyone of any race, creed, or social background who is in need. It doesn't delineate between believers and nonbelievers. The ESV notes indicate that to love one's neighbor involves showing care and compassion even to those with whom one would not normally have any relationship.

Jesus’ reply in v.36 makes it clear that each has a responsibility to be a neighbor—especially to those who are in need.

The MacAuthor ESV says the prevailing opinion among scribes and Pharisees was that one’s neighbors were the righteous alone. According to them, the wicked—including rank sinners (such as tax collectors and prostitutes), Gentiles, and especially Samaritans—were to be hated because they were the enemies of God. They cited Ps. 139:21–22 to justify their position. As that passage suggests, hatred of evil is the natural corollary of loving righteousness. But the truly righteous person’s “hatred” for sinners is not a malevolent enmity. It is a righteous abhorrence of all that is base and corrupt—not a spiteful, personal loathing of individuals. Godly hatred is marked by a broken-hearted grieving over the condition of the sinner. And as Jesus taught here and elsewhere (Luke 6:27–36; Matt. 5:44–48), it is also tempered by a genuine love. The Pharisees had elevated hostility toward the wicked to the status of a virtue, in effect nullifying the second Great Commandment. Jesus’ answer to this lawyer demolished the pharisaical excuse for hating one’s enemies.

LandShark
Dec 7th 2013, 10:24 PM
My view is that neighbor is anyone but you, including your spouse. God so loved the world and He extended that love, in the form of grace to you. We, being His children and called to walk in His name (Live in a manner that reflects Him to those around us) are to have that same love and extended that same grace to those around us, even when we think they might not deserve it. We didn't deserve it either, so it is of paramount importance that we extend that same courtesy to others. That doesn't mean we condone sin or poor behavior, but since we are judged as we judge our neighbor, then if we are to error in our judgment it should be on the side of grace rather than an iron fist.

Neanias
Dec 8th 2013, 02:56 AM
Luke 10:25-29 (NIV)
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘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, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

At this point, Jesus goes on to tell the "expert in the law" the Parable of the Good Samaritan. We all know the story: A guy gets mugged and is left for dead by the side of the road. A priest, who should know better, passes by without helping. A Levite, who also should know better, goes on past without lending a helping hand. A Samaritan (Samaritans were hated by Jews and the feelings were mutual), on the other hand, stops and helps the injured man. He goes way out of his way, as a matter of fact, to help this person in desperate need of help.

Preacher and professor Dr. Haddon Robinson does a superb job of summing up the moral of the story this way: My neighbor is anyone whose need I see, whose need God puts me in a position to meet.

And then we have these nice verses from First John:

1 John 4:20-21 (NIV)
20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

I don't mean to sound harsh (or maybe I do), but unless you love your brother/neighbor (that is, unless you help those whose need you see and whose need God has put you in a position to meet), isn't any grand pronouncement of your love for God a bunch of pious nonsense? I hope that I can one day state that I love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all my mind, without being guilty of any type of disingenuousness.

I agree with this, and appreciate the honesty of your last paragraph. :)

This is at least in part why we must examine ourselves: one can make all the claims in the world as to loving God, but if he doesn't love his brother and his neighbor, the love of God is not in him.

It's like that new song by U2: 'We cannot reach any higher if we can't deal with ordinary love'. If we spit on the ordinary love of the common man with a 'holier than thou attitude', we only reveal how we ourselves are not like the Father.

This is not only in actions I would say, as in taking in a wounded man, but also applies to our judging others. We may judge a Muslim or any other non-Christian around us as being an enemy of God, meanwhile the Muslim might be like the Good Samaritan, serving and humble, and with love for others, and the non-Christian might be a humble man.

We must be careful not to despise the ordinary love among us, and not to judge.

Nagunae
Dec 9th 2013, 03:48 AM
That's some really good input by everyone. A non-religious friend of mine posted just today on FB a meme (I think that's what you call it) that stated something to the effect of "The new Pope: teaching Christians how to be Christians." I agree. I also agree with her underlying dig at how we Christians haven't been doing a good job in recent times with regard to showing the world what our religion is all about.

ewq1938
Dec 14th 2013, 03:49 AM
Who then would not be your neighbor?

Christinme
Dec 14th 2013, 08:19 AM
This thread lines up with my thread on sins of omission.


One can think that I don't practice sin but usually one is thinking of sins of commission, things that one does, however there is also such a thing as sins of omission, things that we don't do.

Helping others is a great way to let Christ shine through you.

Diggindeeper
Dec 14th 2013, 08:43 AM
I really, really like this thread.
i think it also lines up with most of the Articles I've written on here. Just look for those by 'Diggindeeper', although a few of them say 'by bdh', who actually accepted them to be published on here. But when you click on it to read, it then says 'by Diggindeeper'. (They are in the Articles section.)

Here's a couple of them:

http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php/243668-Article-Mr-Key-At-The-Dry-Cleaners
http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php/233322-Article-A-Little-Man-Named-Farris

Christinme
Dec 14th 2013, 11:02 AM
I really, really like this thread.
i think it also lines up with most of the Articles I've written on here. Just look for those by 'Diggindeeper', although a few of them say 'by bdh', who actually accepted them to be published on here. But when you click on it to read, it then says 'by Diggindeeper'. (They are in the Articles section.)

Here's a couple of them:

http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php/243668-Article-Mr-Key-At-The-Dry-Cleaners
http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php/233322-Article-A-Little-Man-Named-FarrisThank you for pointing these out. The first one made me cry. The second one made me mad, and then a couple sentences later I see that you were mad and was glad, then as I read on I did cry. Again THANK YOU!

Nagunae
Dec 16th 2013, 09:12 AM
Who then would not be your neighbor?

That's a good question. This is another reason why I really like Dr. Haddon Robinson's explanation of who your neighbor is. He states several times in a sermon I really like that "[m]y neighbor is anyone whose need I see, whose need God puts me in a position to meet." I think this relieves us from at least taking action on every single instance of suffering in the world because we may not be exposed to all such instances of suffering and/or we might not be in a position to do anything about it.

Nagunae
Dec 16th 2013, 09:26 AM
I really, really like this thread.
i think it also lines up with most of the Articles I've written on here. Just look for those by 'Diggindeeper', although a few of them say 'by bdh', who actually accepted them to be published on here. But when you click on it to read, it then says 'by Diggindeeper'. (They are in the Articles section.)

Here's a couple of them:

http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php/243668-Article-Mr-Key-At-The-Dry-Cleaners
http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php/233322-Article-A-Little-Man-Named-Farris

I read the first one and will get to the second one tomorrow. Great story about Mr. Key. I enjoyed it immensely. Maybe I'll write about my experience with James here in Taiwan. His mother passed away some years ago and he's been living above the church I attend. I have a little Saturday morning class where I teach English to him and a few others. Somehow, he managed to get into the best university in Taiwan! He told me recently during a class when we were discussing The Rich Man and Lazarus that it's "wonderful" being poor. I had to fight to hold back the tears and continue the lesson.