On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘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 neighbor as yourself. “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:25-37
Who is my neighbor, the expert in the law asked Jesus? He tried to justify himself because he wasn’t loving his neighbor as himself. Many people ask this question today of the Lord because they try to justify themselves because they aren’t loving their neighbor as themselves. Jesus is asking us this question today “What is written in the law?”
He says that the two greatest commandments are to Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself. God’s definition of love is so much different than the world’s definition. God loves us unconditionally and we are to love our neighbor unconditionally.
He speaks of the parable of the Good Samaritan who helped a man who fell into the hands of common thieves. They robbed him and then beat him mercilessly and left him lying by the side of the road. A priest walked by on the other side of the road and walked by the hurt man. A religious leader walked by and walked past the injured man.
The Samaritan came upon the man and put him on his donkey and bandaged his wounds. He took him to an inn and told the innkeeper to take care of him. The Good Samaritan told him he would pay for all his expenses when he returned. This is Jesus’ definition of a good neighbor. A friend indeed is the Good Samaritan.