Faithlife Sermons

Who is My Neighbor

Summer Theme Series  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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First in the 2017 Summer Series

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Why Does Jesus Tell this Story

Eerdmans Bible Dictionary I. Old Testament

Loving one’s neighbor (Lev. 19:18), not bearing false witness against one’s neighbor (Exod. 20:16), and not coveting one’s neighbor’s possessions (v. 17) are all commands that encompassed only relationships with fellow Jews.

Scripture Spotlight

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
27 He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
27 He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
The New International Version. (2011). (). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
The New International Version. (2011). (). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

An “expert in the law”

The Greek work here is “Nomikos” and it used as a reference to one who was a scholar and an expert in the Mosaic Law, not Constitutional, British or Common Law, but the Religious Law of Moses
Notice the person that Jesus is talking to is not an attorney but rather an expert in the Torah or first five books of Moses.
Notice the person that Jesus is talking to is not an attorney but rather an expert in the Torah or first five books of Moses.

“Test Jesus”

The original Greek text uses the term “ekpeirazo”, which means to trap or find fault. Notice the man was not there to glean information from Jesus, he was there in an attempt to embarrass Jesus in front of the audience that had gathered around him. His questions was rhetorical at best and deceptive in the least

Inherit eternal life

The man asking the question was a Sadducee, which did not believe in an after-life, which means he was asking Jesus for an answer to a question that he himself did not believe in
Inherit eternal life suggests that eternity is not something you earn or work for but rather is given to you because of who your parents were. Notice the expert in the law does not ask how he can acquire or earn eternal life, but rather how he can get it for free
Inherit eternal life suggests that eternity is not something you earn or work for but rather is given to you because of who your parents were. Notice the expert in the law does not ask how he can acquire or earn eternal life, but rather how he can get it for free
Inherit eternal life suggests that eternity is not something you earn or work for but rather is given to you because of who your parents were. Notice the expert in the law does not ask how he can acquire or earn eternal life, but rather how he can get it for free

Love thy Neighbor

This text is sometimes confused with the Golden Rule, but there is a difference between “Do unto others” and love thy neighbor. Doing unto others is how you want other to treat you and it is an action regardless of relationship.
Love thy neighbor presupposes relationship and the incentive for how you behave is shaped by how you feel/love yourself
Love thy neighbor presupposes relationship and the incentive for how you behave is shaped by how you feel/love yourself

Closing Illustration

Whitney Houston sings “The Greatest Love of All”
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