Who’s My Neighbor?
May 8, 2011

Who’s My Neighbor?

The seemingly benign moral lesson of the parable of the Good Samaritan is much harder to apply to our lives than what we think. This sermon examines the need for balance between devotion and service.


Notes from the message:

A legal expert tries to catch Jesus, and when Jesus catches him, he seeks to justify himself. "Who is my neighbor?" - it's a question that many were asking. What are the limits of love?
In failing to love and pray for our enemies, does our prayerlessness pave the way for their perishing?
Parable Notes:
  • a priest - religious leader
  • a Levite - a temple worker
  • a Samaritan - worthless, despised
The parable is told to explain that love goes beyond our comfort zones.
Luke 10:25-37 ~ Love must be matched with action to prove its reality.
Luke 10:38-42 ~ In your activity, you can miss what is important.
  • Activity can usurp devotion.
  • Devotion can "inertialize" ministry.
  • Our ministry should be covered in and flow from love.
  • True love requires spiritual maturity.
  • Loving ministry doesn't happen on a schedule.
v28, 37
"Do this, and you will live."
"You go, and do likewise."
We say, "Don't go to church; be the church." But don't think that's a platitude that allows you to just be nice, sweet people that smile and say "God bless you."
Being the church means doing things that the Lord of the church would have us do.
We must be in relationship with Him to hear and understand what He leads us to do.

But beware of doing. It's addictive.
v38-42: She was caught up in activity and service. There's balance needed.
Our activity should be fueled by our love.
Other verses:
  • Matthew 22.37 - the great commandment
  • Galatians 5:14 - law is summed up in love neighbor.
  • Galatians 6:9 - don't grow weary in serving... reaping will come

Both of these passages reveal the heart of God. Jesus is not only teaching us how we should be. He's teaching us who He is. He Himself stepped from a position of privilege to bring help and healing to us who were helpless in sin.

Jesus modeled a love relationship with the Father, spending time in adoration and allowing His service to flow from His relationship with the Father.

John 5:19-20: So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.

John 15:8-11: By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.

Being loved by God propels us to love others. Don't get caught up "being" the church so much that you don't do what the church should do.

v28, 37

"Do this, and you will live."

"You go, and do likewise."