Have you ever wondered what the word “neighbor” means?
One day, a teacher of the law in Israel asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”
Since Jesus knew him well, He didn’t start arguing with him; instead, He answered his question with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits.
They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by.
A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them.
Then he put the man on his own don- key and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here’” (you can read this story in Luke 10:25—37).
Then Jesus asked the teacher of the law, “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?”
And he replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
With that story Jesus taught us that our neighbor is anyone nearby (close to us), that is, anyone who needs our help and should therefore be treated the same way we would like them to treat us.
In your Prayer Journal ask Jesus to show you who you can help today.