Day 32: Luke 10:25-28
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
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.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
As I read this very familiar passage where Jesus tells the lawyer to “love his neighbor as himself,” I wonder if I might need an adjustment as to what it means to love my neighbor. I think I’m a pretty good neighbor (just ask Jan or Shelley). After all, I clean up after our dog in the park; I often pick up trash when I see it; I smile and greet those I meet; I’m friendly to those around me. I even leave my quarter in the cart at Aldi so that the next person doesn’t have to pay.
But I’m pretty sure Jesus’ definition of loving my neighbor as myself goes a lot deeper than these acts of kindness.
I recently read the book “Chasing God” by Roger Huang. He tells of the time when he was stranded with a flat tire in a seedy neighborhood. While waiting for AAA to get there, he witnessed a group of teens beating up a younger kid. He chose to literally look the other way because he feared he would get hurt if he intervened. When he got home, he could not get the picture of the boy’s frightened eyes out of his mind. And he heard God say to him, “What would you have done if that were your own son?” Of course his response would have been much different! Then God said, “That boy is my son.” Roger’s heart was broken and it brought about a change in him that is continuing to this day, with a ministry to children and the elderly, drug addicts, prostitutes and the destitute in that very neighborhood.
Roger responded to God’s call to love his neighbor as himself.
I want to love my neighbor – to see the needs around me and to respond as I’d want others to respond to my own need. I need to pray daily that I see the people I encounter with God’s eyes, and not with eyes of fear, distrust, or judgmentalism.
I want to “Love my neighbor as myself.”
Debbie Boquist | Kids Hope Director