I wear my “I love my neighbor” wristband everywhere. If you don’t know those are wristbands we gave out earlier this year to help remind us that the love we show others can be used by God to touch their lives. They’re based on Jesus’ command to love our neighbor as our self.
In all of the time I’ve been wearing that wristband in America no one has ever asked me what it meant. In Haiti I’ve already had two people ask me about it. One man, after reading it, asked me, “Who is your neighbor?” I said to him, “You are my neighbor.”
That was Jesus’ point in the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke chapter 10. Two Jewish religious guys ignored the Jewish man’s plight. They convinced themselves that his problem wasn’t their problem and so they looked the other way and went about their business.
The Samaritan on the other hand spent his own money and his own time. Basically, he invested his life in the Jewish man who had been beaten and robbed. He didn’t know him before that day. He certainly had nothing to gain by doing what he did. As a matter of fact, if the situation were reversed the Jewish man almost certainly would not have stopped to help the Samaritan since Jews despised Samaritans.
The Samaritan is a model for those of us who follow Jesus. Expressing God’s love to those who need it the most is what we’re called to do. Sometimes it will cost us, but the opportunity to glorify God is well worth the price.
My neighbors in Haiti don’t have the same skin color I do. They don’t speak the same language I do. We’ll never play golf together or have a block party. What we do have in common is the same spiritual need, a relationship with Jesus.
A week is a long time to be away from my family. I don’t like it. The heat and humidity are terrible. I don’t like it. But Jesus finished the story of the Good Samaritan with this penetrating question:
“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 10:36-37 NIV)
When we follow Jesus we can’t simply look the other way and go about our business. “Go and do likewise” followers of Jesus.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.