The man asked a burning question, “What must I do to be saved?” And he knew all the right answers – love God and love your neighbor. He even claimed to practice them regularly. But he wanted to “justify himself,” as the Greek says to “exhibit oneself such as he wishes to be considered.” He wanted to appear supremely righteous – even more righteous than Jesus – so he asked another question: “Who is my neighbor?” and Jesus told a story of a wounded, broken man and the “righteous” people who passed him by. But an unlikely person came along – one who was considered most unrighteous. It was he who stopped and rendered aid – he cared for the man and about the man.
Then Jesus turned the question around. “Which of these was the neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” See, the man wanted to know, according to the Law, whom he had to love. Jesus said love isn’t done according to the law, but according to the heart. The Lord pointed to the neighbor not as the one in need but as the one who met the need.
People are sad.
And yes, angry.
There is no end to the needs in the world.
But I can’t fix everybody. Where do I start?
With the person God sets in front of you.
“Who is the neighbor. . . ?”
“The one who had mercy on him.”
“Go and do likewise.”