Our neighbors as ourselves
One day Jesus was teaching the word of God to people as he did everyday, when a Jewish lawyer (a scholar who knows the Scripture well) came to Jesus. He came up to Jesus pushing many people out of the way and asked courageously.
"What must I do to inherit eternal life?"(Luke 10:25).
The lawyer asked such a question to test Jesus. But Jesus already knew his motives. So he asked again, “What is written in the law?” He answered in a proud voice, “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 neighbors as yourself.”
Then Jesus told him, "You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live”(Luke 10:28).
This made him rather embarrassed because he answered his own question. So, again, wanting to show his righteousness, he asked, “and who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29).
Who are the neighbors, we must love as ourselves? Jesus told a parable to answer the question.
One day a Jew encountered robbers on the way from Jerusalem to Jericho. They attacked him and took away his money, things and clothes, and nearly beat him to death. He was covered with blood and collapsed.
Just then a priest was passing. He cried loudly with all his strength, “Save me!” But his voice was too little to be heard. Just then, the priest saw the Jew groaning on the ground. But he passed him by as if he felt annoyed.
After a while a Levite came. He went over and looked at the man, and then walked by on the other side. He murmured, “This man met a robber! I shall meet them too if I hesitate here", and he ran away.
“There is no one who cares for me. Now I shall die helplessly on this mountain.”
The Jew was disappointed with them and He could do nothing. Then another person came by. Hope entered his heart. But, oh! Do you know who he was?
He was a Samaritan who Jews had disregarded as dogs. There was no hope for him. But the Samaritan approached and saw the fallen Jew and to his surprise bound up his wounds. And he set him on his donkey and took him to an inn. When he reached the inn, he put him on the best bed and took care of him all night.
The next day, he couldn't stay any longer. So he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper.
“Take care of him,” he told the innkeeper, “and when I come back this way, I will pay you whatever else you spend on him.” (Luke 10:30-35)
Who are our neighbors?
Jesus finished the story and asked the lawyer.
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
“The one who had mercy on him.”
"Go and do likewise"(Luke 10:36, 37).
The lawyer couldn't say anymore, because he could see the two groups in this story clearly.
The Jews always said they loved God and they were holy, but they always disregarded and abused the Samaritans. But it was the Samaritan that was good and kind to his neighbor. In those days, the Jews and Samaritans hated each other, but the Samaritan had helped his enemy. Our compassionate neighbor was just that kind of person!
Everyone who needs our help is our neighbor.
What kind of person do you want to be?
The one who doesn't care for the troubled man or the one who gladly helps the poor?
Let's think about our neighbors! How about taking care for their needs, and trying to help them?
It is easy to talk about love, but expressing love is not that easy. But if we give up and do not love, we shall lose our place in heaven.
When Jesus was here on earth, He healed the sick and cared for the poor, and the handicapped. He was a friend to them. Jesus was very kind, and we should live like Jesus too. When you strive to become that kind of person, He will be truly happy.
Jesus sympathizes with us when we are in pain and despair. Let's pray to the Lord to fill our hearts with love. Try to have a sympathizing heart so that we can help our neighbors, just like Jesus did.
How can we help the poor neighbors?
Let's note the way once.
The more we practice the love, the greater the love is.
Jesus told a parable to teach us how to live in this world.
There was a rich man who was about to leave home on a trip; he called his servants and put them on charge of his property. He gave to each one according to his ability: to one he gave five talents, to another he gave two, and to another he gave one. Then he left on his trip.
The servant with five talents started his own business at once, buying and selling until he had made his five talents into ten. The servant with two talents did the same, but the man with one talent dug a hole in the ground, buried his talent, and lived the easy life.
After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The servant who had received five talents came in and handed over the other five.
“Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.”
The lord was very glad and praised him.
“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!”
And the servant who had two talents came forward and put out four talents.
“You gave me two talents, sir. Look! Here are another two that I have earned.”
The lord praised the servant.
Then the third one with one talent came in and said.
“Sir, I know you are a hard man; you reap harvests where you did not plant, and you gather crops where you did not scatter seed. I was afraid, so I went off and hid your money in the ground. Look! Here is what belongs to you!” (Matthew 25:26-30).
“You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest...you shall suffer in the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”(Matthew 25:14-30).
The third servant didn't use well his money and he was very lazy. So he was punished. And he was expelled from the beautiful and happy home.
When the smalls are accumulated, they become great.
In this story, the lord who traveled to a far land represents Jesus, who left earth to go to heaven. As the lord returned, Jesus will come back again. The servants represent everyone in the world. Whether believer or unbeliever, everyone belongs to Jesus. Jesus died on the cross to save all people.
We must devote our knowledge, love and all our possessions to serve God. All our abilities come from God. Talents are these abilities. As the Lord gave talents to each of his servants according to his characteristics, our abilities that God gave us are different for each person.
God made us all unique, so we each have our own abilities; speech, writing, singing, painting, playing sports, and doing good deeds.
God gave five talents to the servant who could endure that much. And He also gave one talent to the right person. He never asks us to serve more than we can. So the first and second servants got the same rewards and praise from the master. He considers them equal.
God wants us to do only what we are able to do. It is good enough for Him if we do our best.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little also be dishonest with much”(Luke 16:10).
God told us the children who are willing to do even little things can accomplish the great things, too. We are building our own lives doing little things day by day. Moreover, this can determine our salvation.
Very soon our Lord, Jesus will come back again. Then we shall be judged on how we utilized our abilities as the servants did in the parable. And we will hopefully get praises from the Lord; “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I pray that you become such a person. One who is good and kind, always bright, and who likes to tell the story of Jesus to friends, helps others and prays for the sick.
Prayer to Jesus
Thank you for giving me sympathetic and compassionate mind.
I want to live just like you, generous and constantly communicating with you.
I love you, Jesus! I pray in the name of Jesus, who is always by my side.