Faithlife Sermons

Who Is My Neighbor?

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1. THE WAY WE TREAT OUR NEIGHBORS MATTERS
a. - 25 AND BEHOLD, A LAWYER STOOD UP TO PUT HIM TO THE TEST, SAYING, “TEACHER, WHAT SHALL I DO TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?” 26 HE SAID TO HIM, “WHAT IS WRITTEN IN THE LAW? HOW DO YOU READ IT?” 27 AND HE ANSWERED, “YOU SHALL 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 YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” 28 AND HE SAID TO HIM, “YOU HAVE ANSWERED CORRECTLY; DO THIS, AND YOU WILL LIVE.”
b. APPLICATION
i. THIS LAWYER IS QUOTING WHAT IS KNOWN AS THE GREAT COMMANDMENT, WHICH ENCOURAGES GOD’S PEOPLE TO DO TWO THINGS…
1. TO LOVE GOD COMPLETELY
2. AND TO LOVE OTHERS SACRIFICALLY
a. TO LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF SPEAKS OF SACRIFICIAL LOVE…
b. IT SPEAKS OF A LOVE THAT GIVES WITH NO EXPECTATION…
c. IT SPEAKS OF THE TYPE OF LOVE THAT CAUSES A PERSON TO DISPLACE HIS OR HER OWN COMFORT AND PREFERENCE FOR THE BENEFIT OF OTHERS…
c. ILLUSTRATION
i. I WAS TALKING WITH A PASTOR FRIEND A COUPLE MONTHS AGO, AND WE ENDED UP ON THE SUBJECT OF SELFISHNESS, AND HOW SELFISHNESS IS NOTICEABLE, EVEN IN THE LIVES OF BELIEVERS…
1. AND HE TOLD ME ABOUT AN INCIDENT THAT HAPPENED IN HIS CHURCH WHERE A GUEST HAD COME, AND HAD ARRIVED A LITTLE EARLY, SO THIS GUEST JUST PICKED A SPOT AND SAT DOWN, WAITING FOR THE SERVICE TO BEGIN…
2. AS THE CHURCH BEGAN TO FILL UP, A CHURCH MEMBER APPROACHED THE GUEST AND TOLD THE GUEST THAT HE NEEDED TO MOVE, BECAUSE HE WAS SITTING IN “HIS SEAT!”
3. OBVIOUSLY, THAT CHURCH MEMBER WAS SINGLE-HANDEDLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT GUEST NEVER RETURNING TO HIS CHURCH.
4. I PRAY THAT WE NEVER HAVE ANYTHING LIKE THAT HAPPEN HERE…
a. THAT IS ONE OF THE HIGHEST FORMS OF SELFISHNESS THAT THERE IS BECAUSE IT DOES TWO THINGS…
i. IT DISPLACES GOD BY ASSUMING OWNERSHIP, WHEN THE REALITY IS THAT NONE OF US TRULY OWN ANYTHING…
ii. IT IS ALL GOD’S PROPERTY, ESPECIALLY THE BUILDING WHERE THE CHURCH MEETS…
iii. IT DOES NOT MEET THE STANDARD OF LOVING ONE’S NEIGHBOR AS ONESELF…
1. IT IS ACTUALLY THE OPPOSITE OF SACRIFICIAL LOVE…
2. IT IS SELF-CENTERED, SELF-LOVE…
iv. AND IT HAS NO PLACE IN GOD’S CHURCH…
b. I PRAY THAT THIS NEVER HAPPENS HERE…
d. BECAUSE WE ARE CALLED LOVE GOD COMPLETELY…
e. AND TO LOVE OTHERS SACRIFICIALLY…
2. BUT WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?
a. A BETTER WAY TO LOOK AT THE FIRST PART OF THIS SECTION OF THE PASSAGE WOULD BE TO RESTATE THE QUESTION.
i. WE MIGHT SAY THAT THE EXPERT IN THE LAW IS TRYING TO JUSTIFY HIMSELF BY PROPOSING TO JESUS THAT THERE ARE SOME WHO WOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A NEIGHBOR.
ii. IN OTHER WORDS, WHO IS NOT MY NEIGHBOR?
iii. ONE OF THE JEWISH BOOKS OF WISDOM – WHICH IS NOT PART OF THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE, BUT WHICH WAS WIDELY USED IN THE JEWISH COMMUNITY – ENCOURAGES PEOPLE NOT TO HELP A “SINNER.”
iv. BUT THERE IS NO SUCH ENCOURAGEMENT IN SCRIPTURE…
v. AS A MATTER OF FACT, JESUS TEACHES JUST THE OPPOSITE…
1. WE ARE TO PRAY FOR, AND ENCOURAGE, AND CORRECT, AND WIN THE SINNER…
vi. LISTEN TO JESUS RESPONSE TO THIS EXPERT IN THE LAW.
b. -37A - 29 BUT HE, DESIRING TO JUSTIFY HIMSELF, SAID TO JESUS, “AND WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?” 30 JESUS REPLIED, “A MAN WAS GOING DOWN FROM JERUSALEM TO JERICHO, AND HE FELL AMONG ROBBERS, WHO STRIPPED HIM AND BEAT HIM AND DEPARTED, LEAVING HIM HALF DEAD. 31 NOW BY CHANCE A PRIEST WAS GOING DOWN THAT ROAD, AND WHEN HE SAW HIM HE PASSED BY ON THE OTHER SIDE. 32 SO LIKEWISE A LEVITE, WHEN HE CAME TO THE PLACE AND SAW HIM, PASSED BY ON THE OTHER SIDE. 33 BUT A SAMARITAN, AS HE JOURNEYED, CAME TO WHERE HE WAS, AND WHEN HE SAW HIM, HE HAD COMPASSION. 34 HE WENT TO HIM AND BOUND UP HIS WOUNDS, POURING ON OIL AND WINE. THEN HE SET HIM ON HIS OWN ANIMAL AND BROUGHT HIM TO AN INN AND TOOK CARE OF HIM. 35 AND THE NEXT DAY HE TOOK OUT TWO DENARII AND GAVE THEM TO THE INNKEEPER, SAYING, ‘TAKE CARE OF HIM, AND WHATEVER MORE YOU SPEND, I WILL REPAY YOU WHEN I COME BACK.’ 36 WHICH OF THESE THREE, DO YOU THINK, PROVED TO BE A NEIGHBOR TO THE MAN WHO FELL AMONG THE ROBBERS?” 37 HE SAID, “THE ONE WHO SHOWED HIM MERCY.”
c. ILLUSTRATION
i. THE STORY OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN DOESN’T HAVE QUITE THE IMPACT ON US AS IT DID ON THE PEOPLE JESUS TOLD IT TO IN PERSON.
ii. SO LET ME TRY TO PUT IT INTO A CONTEXT YOU MIGHT UNDERSTAND…
iii. WHAT IF THE STORY WENT SOMETHING LIKE THIS…
iv. A CERTAIN MAN WAS TRAVELING THROUGH SOUTH MEMPHIS, WHERE HE FELL AMONG ROBBERS, WHO STRIPPED HIM AND ROBBED HIM AND BEAT HIM AND DEPARTED, LEAVING HIM FOR DEAD. NOW BY CHANCE A PASTOR WAS PASSING BY, BUT WHEN HE SAW HIM, HE CONTINUED ON WITHOUT HELPING HIM. LIKEWISE, A DEACON, WHEN HE SAW THE MAN, ALSO CONTINUED ON WITHOUT HELPING HIM. FINALLY, A DRUG ADDICT CAME UPON THE MAN, AND WHEN HE SAW HIM, HE HAD COMPASSION ON HIM. HE WENT TO THE MAN AND ADMINISTERED FIRST AID TO HIM, AND THEN TOOK HIM TO THE LOCAL CLINIC. THE NEXT DAY, HE TOOK HIM TO A HOTEL AND ASKED THEM TO TAKE CARE OF HIM, PROMISING TO REPAY WHATEVER WAS NECESSARY FOR HIS CARE.
v. WHICH ONE OF THESE, DO YOU THINK, WAS HIS NEIGHBOR?
d. APPLICATION
i. OBVIOUSLY, HIS NEIGHBOR WAS THE ONE WHO ATTEMPTED TO HELP HIM AND PROVIDED CARE FOR HIM…
ii. THE ONE WHO SACRIFICED FOR THE BENEFIT OF SOMEONE ELSE…
1. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU DID THAT?
2. THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS WE COULD APPLY THIS PRINCIPLE TO…
3. SACRIFICIAL GIVING
a. HELPING THE CHURCH MEET BUDGET…
4. SACRIFICIAL SERVICE
a. HELPING THE CHURCH ACCOMPLISH ITS MISSION…
e. THE DEPTH OF OUR LOVE FOR GOD IS EVIDENCED BY THE EXTENT OF OUR EFFORT ON HIS BEHALF…
f. IN OTHER WORDS, HOW MUCH WE LOVE GOD WILL BE MADE KNOWN BY HOW MUCH WE ARE WILLING TO SACRIFICE FOR HIM…
3. HOW CAN I BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR?
a. :37B - …AND JESUS SAID TO HIM, “YOU GO, AND DO LIKEWISE.”
b. ILLUSTRATION
c. APPLICATION
i. JESUS CALL IN THIS ACCOUNT IS NOT TO DETERMINE WHO OUR NEIGHBOR IS
1. HIS CALL IS FOR YOU TO BE THE NEIGHBOR…
2. INSTEAD OF TRYING TO SEPARATE PEOPLE INTO CLASSES, YOU CONCERN YOURSELF WITH BEING A GOOD NEIGHBOR TO EVERYONE, REGARDLESS OF THEIR SITUATION.
ii. THE COMMAND TO THIS EXPERT IN THE LAW, AND TO YOU AND ME IS TO GO, AND DO LIKE THIS SAMARITAN…
iii. GO AND BE A NEIGHBOR TO EVERYONE YOU COME INTO CONTACT WITH…
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