Loving our neighbours is about more than just being nice. It’s about giving other people the same attention, the same care, the same time, and the same opportunities we expect for ourselves. It’s disruptive, inconvenient, and countercultural. And if you’re anything like me then you probably feel that actually practicing this daily is difficult, but this is what we’re called to do as followers of Jesus.
Luke 10 describes a conversation between Jesus and a lawyer who knew the theory about loving his neighbours but found it challenging to live-out. So he tried to find a loophole, an error in the small print:
29 “Wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “and who is my neighbour?”
Jesus replied with a parable about a traveller who was stripped of clothing, beaten and left half dead on the road by robbers. First, a priest came by, and then a Levite came by, but both avoided the man. Finally, a Samaritan came by and went out of his way to help the injured man, he paid for his medical care and put him up in an inn. Inconvenient, costly, and selfless right? Jesus finished with a challenge for the lawyer:
36“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
“Go and do likewise.” Go and show inconvenient, costly, selfless love your neighbours. The neighbours you like and the neighbours you don’t like. The neighbours near home and the neighbours across the globe.
“Go and do likewise.” To the neighbours who look like you and the neighbours that don’t. To the neighbours you agree with and the neighbours you disagree with.
“Go and do likewise.” Go and choose mercy over convenience.
Exam season is nearly over and the university year is about to end. If you’re like me then you’re probably spending a little bit too much library time on Skyscanner, dreaming about what the summer holds. It’s always good to take some time out, but as you plan your summer break think about how you can make space to serve during it, think about how you can choose mercy over convenience.
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A blog post from We Are Tearfund.