30th June 2018

Again, Who is my Neighbour? (Part 2) 

“Jesus said, ‘Go and do the same.’”
Luke 10:37 (MSG)
 

I guess that the most asked question during the past few years, both verbally and in print is, “Has anyone miss-sold you PPI?” I know it sounds like a petrol additive to increase the miles per gallon of your car, but of course it isn’t going to increase anything for you and so people are quite rightly claiming back the money they have paid in.

During his earthly ministry Jesus was asked many questions and unfortunately many of them were designed to ‘take him down a peg or two’ or to trap him into saying something that the Pharisees could use against him, or in one case, to justify the questioner. Like the expert in the law who asked him two questions and triggered the parable of the Good Samaritan. The expression, ‘A Good Samaritan’ has come down throughout the centuries as a name for anyone who does a good deed or reaches out to help someone else, just because they can.

Did you ever consider that all the ingredients in the story of the Good Samaritan are often found on the front pages of our daily newspapers? Jesus spoke of violence and we certainly have plenty of that today. He also spoke about crime, racial discrimination and hatred, and that, too, is all around us today. In this parable we see neglect, and unconcern but we also get an eyeful of compassion, love and mercy.

We all know the story, but today I’d like to focus on the questions that triggered this story. His first was, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Actually, this question is flawed, what can anyone do to inherit anything? Inheritance by its very nature is a gift from one family member to another. If you are born into, or adopted into, a family, then you can inherit. Inheritance is not payment for services rendered!

The second was just as wrong and via this story Jesus pointed out that the question “Who is my neighbour?” should actually be, “To whom must I become a neighbour?” The story reveals to this lawyer and indeed to all of us, that our neighbour is anyone in need, regardless of language, religion or ethnicity. His urgent message is “Go, and as you do, reach out to those in need—reach across the divides of race, gender, age, position, education, faith, wealth, lifestyle, and all the other factors that make us feel separate and distant from others. In other words—become a neighbour to them!

Prayer
Father, please grant us your compassion that we might reach out to others as the Samaritan did and make a difference to their lives and ours.
Amen

Study by Cliff Neill

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About the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill
LUTON
LU1 5JE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone: 01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

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