Who are our Neighbors?

Luke 10: 25-37 is Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan.  I love the parables that Jesus told as they are so easy to understand and so easy for your children to understand.  A lawyer asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus said, “What is written in the law?  What do you read there?” The lawyer answered, “You shall 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 your neighbor as yourself.”  But, the lawyer asked, “Who is my neighbor?”  Jesus told him a story about a man who was walking along a road when robbers jumped out and attacked him.  They robbed him of everything and beat him until he was almost dead.  A priest was going down that same road a little time later and came across that man lying in the road.  The priest saw the man and crossed to the other side of the road and hurried away.  Later a Le’vite came by and saw the man.  He too crossed to the other side of the road and hurried away.  Then along came a Samaritan.  When he saw the man, he was moved to pity.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them.  Then he put the man on his own animal and brought him to an inn.  He cared for the man and the next day, when he had to leave, he gave the innkeeper two denarii and said, “Take care of him and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Now Jesus asked the lawyer, “Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?”  He said, “The one who showed him mercy.”  Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

What a wonderful way for Jesus to help us understand what is meant by our neighbors.Our neighbors are not just the people who live next door or down our street.They are all people everywhere.Teaching your children to be kind and compassionate is one of the most important things you can teach as a parent.Reading Luke’s message of the Good Samaritan story is a great way to open another wonderful discussion from the Bible with your children.Please find ways to share the Bible with your children.Learning the word together is another terrific way to bond.

Jan Barker