Our scripture for this week, Luke 10:25-37, begins with a legal expert asking a question to test Jesus. As we often discover, it is Jesus who is testing and teaching us by leading us to answer our own questions. Jesus often taught this way, and as we see, it is very effective.
The legal expert knew the scripture but wanted a definite answer, a boundary after which we don’t need to obey. By asking “who is my neighbor?” he seeks to limit his responsibility. Peter was after the same thing when he asked how often to forgive in Matthew 18:21 – surely there is a point where we can stop. Jesus answer to both of them is consistent, and doesn’t let them out of their obligation. We must forgive more times then we can count and love everyone as our neighbor.
God’s commandments are like His love, applicable to all and eternal. We must be ready to love and forgive no matter what the situation. When we do this for our brothers and sisters, Christ says we also do it for Him (Matthew 25:40).
Gracious God, we are thankful for Your love and Your patience as we sometimes struggle to understand our place in creation and our responsibilities. Help us to see everyone as our neighbor and to love them as we love You. Amen.