Jesus commands us to love - 22 January 2018

Neville Turley

“‘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, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”Luke 10:27 (NIV)

Jesus love for his Father and his love for those he came to redeem, found fruition on the cross. There in obedience to his Father’s will he laid down his life to save us from our sinful selves.

The Jews had expected that the Messiah would come as an all-conquering hero overthrowing their enemies and setting up his kingdom in Jerusalem. They could not equate their concept of the Messiah with the ministry of Jesus and vehemently rejected him.

A Pharisee, who was also a lawyer, tested Jesus with a question – “Teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus answered him with a question.  “What is written in the law?” The Pharisee responded with our verse for today.

The he asked Jesus, “But who is my neighbour?” That question still vexes people today.  In reply Jesus told him the well-known parable of the Good Samaritan. (Luke 10:30-35)

To understand the parable, one must see it in its full context. Samaritans were of the Jewish race but were hated and despised by every orthodox Jew. They were descendants of the Jews who continued to live in Samaria after it was conquered 400 years earlier.  Their ancestors had intermarried with their foreigner oppressors and the Jews decreed they had therefore lost their racial purity.

To call a Jew a Samaritan was a grievous insult.  In Jesus’ parable, unlike Jewish folklore, the Samaritan was not the villain but the hero!

Through the parable of the good Samaritan Jesus answers the question: “Who is my neighbour?” It is anyone, anyone at all who genuinely needs us to walk the extra mile with them.

“This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:17)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want to bring before you all those for whom life is hard, sad and difficult.  Help us to reach out in compassion to them and render what assistance we can in Jesus name.  Amen

Go to top