01/12/14 Message – The Good Neighbor: Be

Jesus’ response to the Expert in the Law in Luke 10:25-37, the story he so cleverly crafted known as “The Good Samaritan”, becomes more incredible to me each time I look at it.  As we talked about on Sunday, January 12, the underlying theme of the despicable outsider becoming the hero in Jesus’ story, rather than any of the religious insiders, is itself a sticking point for most of us—or it should be.  But the most difficult theme for me to swallow, which has inescapably risen to the surface for me this time around as I have tried to pay closer attention to Jesus’ story, is that this Samaritan knew whom he as rescuing—a Jew from Jerusalem—the one person on earth who looked down on him, if not hated him without reservation.  Had the roles been reversed that day, had the Samaritan been the one lying there in the ditch half dead, he had to know that this Jew would not stop to help him.  And yet, he rescued him anyway. This is a whole new kind of Good Neighbor for me.  How willing am I to truly love my neighbor as myself?  Will I just do it, or will I try to find the loophole?  If I asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” , what kind of story would he make up for me?

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