“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10.27) With these words a certain lawyer told the Lord he knew the Law and what it stood for, but that wasn’t enough for this certain lawyer. “But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’” (Luke 10.29) The answer Jesus gave, I suspect, wasn’t exactly what the lawyer hoped for.
The story of the Good Samaritan found in the Gospel of Luke (10.25-37) is a story about a man wanting to justify himself, but finding himself rebuffed by the Lord. He must have considered himself quite special that he would dare to test God saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10.25) From his response to Jesus, he obviously sees himself as already qualified for eternal life. But Jesus desired more from him.
God always desires more from us. I think He even desires more from us than we desire from ourselves. We tend to be satisfied with the status quo. We think, “So long as everything is going ‘ok’ or at least not ‘as bad’ as it could be, we prefer to leave things as they are.” According to today’s parable, ‘staying the same’ is just not an option.
Do I love the Lord God with all my heart, or can I love Him more?
Do I love the Lord God with all my soul, or can I love Him more?
Do I love the Lord God with all my strength, or can I love Him more?
Do I love the Lord God with all my mind, or can I love Him more?
Do I love my neighbor as myself?
“Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10.37) These were the Lord's final words to this lawyer. He was sent to love his neighbor as himself BY showing mercy. The so-called righteous ones were the ones who ignored the wounded man. It was the supposed enemy that stopped and showed compassion on the wounded man. Our love for each other is expressed in the mercy we show each other as taught in the story of the Good Samaritan. Do you love your neighbor as the Good Samaritan? The Lord wants more for you if you’re up for the challenge. Now…Go and do likewise.