Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

Enlarging Our Neighborhoods

So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “go and do likewise.”  Luke10:36-37

 Jesus told the story about the Good Samaritan to an important leader in the Jewish world. He asked Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asked him what the law said about his question. The lawyer answered:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself.  Luke10:27

Jesus responded with, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” The lawyer then asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor.” Jesus told him the story of the Good Samaritan and then asked the lawyer. “Which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” The Lawyer said, “He who showed mercy to him.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Jesus meant that man could create his own neighbors by helping others—even our enemies. There was hostility between the Jews and the Samaritans (John 4:9).

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus had said, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you ….”  Matthew 5:44

Jesus knew that by His crucifixion, He would make it possible for man to be filled with the Holy Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is [the God-kind of] love.”

When we are filled with the Spirit, we will enlarge our "spiritual" neighborhoods.