Love Thy Neighbor

When God says something in Scripture once, it is enough for us to obey it in honor of Him. But there are many statements that God makes in multiple places to emphasize it and remind us of it repeatedly. Such is the case with this commandment for us to love our neighbor. God restates this commandment in both Testaments of Scripture and in multiple places in the New Testament. In the New Testament, Jesus uses the parable of the Good Samaritan to emphasize that your neighbor is anyone other than yourself or of another nationality or people group than our own. The idea of love in these passages is not mere human love. It is not love that is carnal and or self-serving in any way. It is not an expression of love that is motivated to get something back in return. God’s love is unconditional, sacrificial, selfless, and other oriented. God’s love for us is offered to us whether we are willing to receive it or not. Jesus clearly describes the kind of love that the Bible is speaking of in how we are to love our neighbor in the parable of the Good Samaritan that is recorded for us in Luke 10 as He gives an answer to a question. Jesus did for us exactly what He described in the story of the Good Samaritan and even far more because the love that Jesus showed to us in His sacrifice is eternal love. The healing that Jesus renders to us as sinners is eternal healing that cleanses us of our sinfulness before God forever. The price Jesus paid to meet our need cost Him far more than the time and money that the Samaritan gave to help the man that was beaten and taken advantage of by thieves. The Jewish religious leaders looked down on Jesus and despised Him as much if not more than they looked down on the Samaritans. This is perhaps exactly why Jesus chose a Samaritan to be the hero of His story to teach a lesson about loving your neighbor to a Jewish man trying to trying to justify himself before the only truly just one and justifier according to Romans 3:26. The love Jesus showed to us as His neighbor is the love that we need to show to our neighbors, and we need to tell them about the eternal nature of His love for us as well.