Who Is My Neighbor?

by Anonymous

Yahshua once had a conversation with a “lawyer” (an expert of his day, who specialized in the interpretation and application of the law). This person wanted to know what the greatest commandment of the law was. We know what Yahshua’s answer was—love Yahweh first with all your being, then love your neighbor as yourself. See Luke 10:27 and Matthew 22:39.

The man then replied (seeking to justify himself), “And who is my neighbor?” Yahshua answered his question by telling the famous parable of the good Samaritan. He concluded by saying: “Go, and do thou likewise.” We can learn a lot from this parable about neighbors and what it means to love them.

For one thing, a neighbor is not always a person who lives next door to you. A neighbor doesn't even have to be someone you know. The Samaritan had never met the traveler who had been beaten and left for dead. He was not even a fellow countryman.

Three things come to mind when reading the parable. First, the traveler was someone whose path had crossed that of the Samaritan. Second, the traveler had a real need. Third, the Samaritan had the ability to meet that need. According to these three criteria, the Samaritan had an obligation to help. And Yahshua said we are to do the same.

We are to help others the way we would want to be helped if the roles were reversed. The love that Yahshua speaks of is agape love. Agape love is an unselfish love that serves the best interests of the recipient without regard to any benefit for the one who loves. In the highest sense, there is a genuine love for one’s neighbor.

We must try to put ourselves in another person’s shoes. Pray for Yahweh’s will for the one whom you are helping. And pray that He will show you the proper way to help someone. Let’s be like the good Samaritan.