«So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?» And he said, «He who showed mercy on him.» Then Jesus said to him, «Go and do likewise.» LUKE 10:36, 37, NKJV
The summer after I graduated from college was spent in Jordan on an archeological dig. Each afternoon we rested and met up with the archeologists to clean and study the objects we had unearthed. In the evenings we could do whatever we wanted. On Sabbath we also had the day off. On this dig there was a staff car available in case anyone needed to go somewhere. One particular Sabbath afternoon, a couple of friends and I decided to borrow the staff car and drive to the nearby ancient Roman city ruins of Jerash. It really was amazing to walk around the ancient ruins of a city that was once filled with people and shops and life. After walking around for a few hours, my friends and I were tired and hungry, but we had brought nothing with us to eat. It would take some time to get back to where we were staying too.
Then something unexpected happened. Nearby, a Jordanian family was sitting under a tree, eating. There were about twelve of them: adults, elderly people, and kids. A man stood up and came over to where we were standing. He spoke very little English, but he insisted that we join his family to eat. We thanked him and joined his family. For the next hour, we spent time with this generous family under a tree, talking and laughing and sharing the best we could.
This experience reminded me of a question asked in the BIBLE, «Who Is my neighbor?» JESUS answered with the parable about the man who was attacked by thieves and how the Good Samaritan showed mercy and kindness to someone even though he could not repay the kindness. Who is your neighbor? Will you go out today and show kindness to everyone? That is what JESUS said we should do.