When asked “Who is my neighbour” (Lk 10:29) Jesus told the story we often call the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
Jesus did not answer the question he was asked. That was the wrong question! What Jesus was illustrating in his story was how we can be neighbours to another. It isn’t about defining neighbour but doing neighbourly things.
I want to highlight these 3 things from Jesus’ account:
- Anyone of us can be a neighbour to another. Jesus’ first audience expected the religious leaders to be a neighbour to the man beaten by robbers. But the one that showed care and concern was the Samaritan, a very unlikely ‘hero’ to that first audience. None of us have to be a certain type of person to help another. All of us can be a neighbour.
- We can be a neighbour right in the flow of life. The Samaritan did not go looking for an opportunity to extend help, the opportunity came to him as he made his way along that familiar road (Lk 10:33). We don’t have to wait for special circumstances to give us the ‘green light’ to show care and concern, we just need to be ready to respond to the situations and needs as they arise.
- We give help out of what we already have. The Samaritan extended help to the injured man from what he had with him (Lk 10:34). He had know-how and material to extend first aid and a means of transportation to move the man to a place where he could recover. We can do the same. We don’t have to wait until we have more knowledge or resources, we can extend help to others out of what we already have.
What have you been learning about being a neighbour right where you are with what you already have?