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.’ “
Who is my neighbor? In verse 10:29, an expert in the law asked that very question. Jesus followed up the question with the parable of the Good Samaritan in verses 30-37.
The Greek word for “neighbor” is plesion which means near or close by. The person who is our neighbor then, is anyone we come in contact with or is within our sphere of influence.
How do we love them? Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible references these things: no harm to, kindness to, charitableness toward, benevolence toward, righteous treatment of and honesty toward. Of course, the most loving thing we can do is share God’s truth and the Gospel with them.
There are opportunities within our church to help our neighbor. Some of them are through the Great Exchange, Friday night downtown witnessing, neighborhood outreach on Sunday mornings, discipling others in our church or even starting a small group in your own neighborhood.
James 2:8 states “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right.” John MacArthur’s NT Commentary puts it this way, “The command here is to pursue meeting the physical health and spiritual well-being of one’s neighbors with the same intensity and concern as one does naturally for one’s self. “ Philippians 2:3-4 states, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or with vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Let’s reflect on this Scripture and prayerfully consider how we can consistently help our neighbors.
By Steve Archie