According to the dictionary, neighbour is defined as the person who is living next to you; a person sitting next to you; a person in need of help; might be your brother or sister or your in-laws or your parent or child or your spouse or a stranger.
Jesus in the parable concludes that the neighbour is the one who shows mercy to the injured fellow man.
The Bible warns us in Proverbs “don’t plan any harm against your neighbor, for he trusts you and lives near you.” Whatever other commands there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
As Christians, if we know Jesus, we then have the power to love. If we have Christ, we have the ability to act in love, even though we have differences. Paul says we are obligated to love others. “Owe no man anything but to love one another.”
Christ’s love in us does not allow us to throw stones at others. Christ’s love in us will not allow us to tear others down. Christ’s love in us stops us from hating others. Christ’s love in us will not put others down. Christ’s love in us does not allow us to throw cheap shots at others.
Our biggest problem/challenge is our lack of love, our inability to love one another. Everything we know in life revolves around that problem. We may win the wars, discover new medicine, tame the wild animals, build amazing structures, speak different languages, deliver powerful sermons, send sophisticated equipment to space but we still are unable to love our neighbour.
But the love of God is radical. It will make us do the unthinkable, unimaginable, undeservable. Why? Because that’s what Christ has done for us.
God’s love is radical. The love of God, the love of Jesus and the love of the Spirit compels us, motivate us, to open up our home, to walk an extra mile, to give a cup of water, to offer two small copper coins, give away our coat, visit the lonely in the prison, hug the unlovable, share a meal who are not of our “type”….Love of Christ challenges our hearts “if anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone…”
How can we love like that? Only when we humble ourselves and exalt Christ in us.
Now that is the power of Christ love. If we have Christ in us, we will never be the same again. We will be changed from inside out. God’s love will break the chains of hatred, envy and prejudice.