Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
Many of us Christians have heard the phrase “Love Your Neighbor As Yourself.” But what does it really mean? Do we truly identify with the way Jesus Christ intended? Did you know that “Love Your Neighbor As Yourself” is one of the original ten commandments? Mark 12:31 says this very thing. Other parables to this verse can be found in Matthew 22:39, Galatians 5:14, Romans 13:9, and Luke 10:27.
It directly follows his commandment of loving others as God loves us. In 1st Corinthians 10:24, it tells us to, “Don’t think only of your own good. Think of other people and what is best for them.” With these verses, you can plainly see what God wants from us. So, who is God referring to when he tells us to love our neighbors?
In Luke 10:25-29, an expert Pharisee of the religious law stood up to test Jesus. He asked Jesus a question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” and Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say?” He answered, “How do you read it?” “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all of your mind. And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. Right! ’ Jesus teachings tell us, “Do this, and you will live.”
The Good Samaritan
The Pharisee wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In Luke 10 30-37, Jesus begins his parable of the Good Samaritan. In this parable, Jesus talks about a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and being attacked by bandits. He was severely beaten, stripped of his clothing, and left half dead.
The parable goes on to say that a priest happens to be going down the same road. When he saw the injured man, he passed by on the other side of the road. A Levite came by next and followed the same pattern as the priest. Then, a Samaritan traveled the same path, and when he saw the man, he took pity on him. The Good Samaritan bandaged his wounds, placed him onto his own donkey, and took him to an inn, and took care of him.
The very next day, he paid the innkeeper to look after him and made arrangements to pay any outstanding debt when he returns. After telling this parable to the Pharisee, Jesus asked him, “Which one of these three was a neighbor to the man?” The Pharisee answered, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Looking at this parable, Jesus teaches us that everyone in need is our neighbor, and we as Christians should do whatever it takes to care for them in their time of need. We all should love ourselves enough to understand what Jesus is saying. Put yourself in the same position. If you were looking at your neighbor and saw yourself, you would move with compassion and mercy.
Reasons to Love Your Neighbor
It is sad to think that two other men passed by the man who had been beaten. They were not even concerned that he needed help. Where is the compassion for our fellow man? We would want someone to stop and make sure we were OK. Wouldn’t we?
And the King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’
God is love and He loved us first. He loved us so much that He gave his only begotten Son, Jesu Christ. And because He loved us so much, He took the sins of the world from beginning to end so that we could commune with our Father in Heaven. Jesus is the only way to the Father. If you love God, love your neighbor as yourself. It is commanded of our Father. Go in peace and have mercy and compassion for your neighbor. God is always watching.