Who is your neighbor

6.15.15 Well yesterday we talked about loving your neighbor as yourself and today let's see who the Bible says our neighbor is.

Typically, the concept of neighbor is limited to those people one lives near, or at least people in the local community. This is how the Old Testament sometimes uses the term, but it is also used in a broader or figurative sense to refer to all Israelites. Thus the commands not to covet a neighbors wife or possessions refers to all fellow Israelites, not just those who happen to live in the vicinity.

The Hebrew word most often translated as neighbor is rea and has a variety of connotations: friend, lover, and of course the usual sense of neighbor. In general, it might be used to refer to anyone who isnt an immediate kinsman or an enemy. Legally, it was used to refer to any fellow member of the covenant with God, in other words fellow Israelites.

One of the best remembered of Jesus parables is that of the Good Samaritan who stops to help an injured man when no one else would. Less well remembered is the fact that this parable was told to answer the question Who is my neighbor? Jesus answer suggests the broadest possible interpretation for neighbor, such that it even includes members of unfriendly tribal groups. This would be consistent with his command to love ones enemies.

Identifying who ones neighbor is has occupied a great deal of discussion in Jewish and Christian theology. The broad use of neighbor in the Bible appears to be part of a general trend through the entire history of ethics, which is to increasingly broaden the social circle of ones ethical concern.

Noteworthy is the fact that its always used in the singular, neighbor, rather than the plural this highlights ones ethical duty in particular cases to specific people, not in the abstract.

Everybody is your neighbor. Jesus was trying to illustrate the the very ones you are prejudice against your neighbor. In his parable the Jewish man that was robbed and beaten was helped by a Samaritan, the one most unlikely to help the man.

Jesus was once asked a provocative question by a lawyer: “Who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:29). Indeed, that is a question we all should ask—“Who is my neighbor?”

The Savior provided a penetrating, unexpected answer to the lawyer. He taught him with a parable—the parable of the Good Samaritan.

An unfortunate victim traveling to Jericho fell among thieves. He was robbed, beaten, and left for dead.

A priest, on his way to the temple, saw him and passed by. Likewise, a Levite, who in that day assisted the priests, passed him by. To the Jews in Jesus’ day this unconcern for the victim in the parable was considered appropriate religious behavior. Their rabbinical teaching declared, “We are not to contrive the death of the Gentiles, but if they are in any danger of death we are not bound to deliver them, … for such a one is not thy neighbour” (in A Commentary on the Holy Bible, ed. J. R. Dummelow, New York: The Macmillan Co., 1936, p. 751).

The Samaritan, though despised by the Jews, saw the suffering victim and did three things: (1) he had compassion on him, (2) he went to him and bound up his wounds, and (3) he cared for him (see Luke 10:30–35).

After relating the parable, Jesus asked the lawyer which of the three was neighbor to him that fell among the thieves—the priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan. The lawyer could not avoid the evident truth. “He that shewed mercy on him,” he replied. To which the Savior said, “Go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:37).

A more perfect parable could not have been conceived to teach the eternal truth that God is the Father of us all and therefore we are brothers one to another.

My neighbor—my brother! Such is the teaching of our Lord and Savior. We are to esteem every man as our brother, our neighbor as ourselves.
This truth is the fundamental basis for our inspired missionary effort throughout the world—to share the glorious truths of the restored gospel with our neighbors, who are our brothers and sisters.

Well there you have it, our neighbor is not just the person next door, so I'm thinking we need to go outside the box to share the Gospel with all of our neighbors no matter if we don't think we like them or not. You are to love everyone just not love the sin just as Jesus does. Love the sinner not the sin.

 

God I come to you asking that you give me the opportunity and desire to share the gospel with all my neighbors no matter where I'm at. Lord please open the eyes of the lost so they will be receptive to what we are trying to tell them. I know we are the ones planting the seed and we may not see the outcome but God let us plant more seeds. Now God please be with my facebook family and friends and know that I love you. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.

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