But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor? And he said, He who showed mercy on him. Then Jesus said to him, Go and do likewise. (Luke 10:29, 37 NKJV)
Boy, doesn’t that sound familiar. “…wanting to justify himself…” I know that I do that. I love Jesus’ response: another parable. It’s a very clear picture describing who your neighbor is: even a stranger.
Although I doubt that’s what the lawyer wants to hear in in this passage, it says a lot about God’s kingdom, who we are to be like and what we normally act like. Many of us live in a place of fear or selfishness. We are either to afraid to act (it’s possible that we will either fail or succeed), or we are contempt with who we are and are without compassion towards others. Sometimes I am both; I feel like I am usually so busy with my own schedule that I don’t take the time to help someone I don’t know.
I thank God that there are compassionate people who would help even a stranger. I pray that God will work on my heart and give me both discernment and compassion when someone needs help.