Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Wreck-Less Love Week 4
Pastor Kris Freeman
September 2, 2018
Scripture: Luke 10:25-29 (NLT)
25 One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”
27 The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”
29 The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In week one of Wreck-Less love, we talked about how the church could love better. In week two, we were reminded that loving like a child is the key to the kingdom of Heaven. Week three was about loving our enemies, which is hard. Now, this should be the easiest.
But it’s not.
You are to love your neighbor as yourself.
Four principles from this passage:
- This was the second part of the new commandment (Matt. 22:39)
- The word for love here is still agapao (unconditional), not phileo (brotherly, friend)
- The religious ruler asked the most important question
Who then is our neighbor?
The word for neighbor (Gr. 4139 Strong’s) is plesion – which means:
– A friend
– Any other person where two are concerned
– According to Jesus, any person of any faith and any country
Neighbor in this context means anybody.
So when we believe the Bible says we are to love everybody, this is where we get it!
How did Jesus explain this principle? He used a parable.
30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.
31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.
33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’
36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. 37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
If Jesus is saying that loving our neighbor is a new commandment, then he is actually speaking authority in regards to the law – something the religious experts would have been very familiar with. They had memorized the commandments and the law and now Jesus adds to it – with love.
The commandment to love our neighbor is used 17 times in context of the New Testament.
Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law. – Rom. 13:10
For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Gal. 5:14
Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – James 2:8
Let’s apply it.
- It’s hard to love your neighbor when you don’t love yourself.
- It’s hard to love your neighbor when you don’t like others different than you (prejudice)
- It’s hard to love your neighbor when you are selfish.
- It’s hard to love your neighbor when you are judgmental.
God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor? – James 4:12
I want to be a good neighbor. I want to love others authentically.