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’. Luke 10:27
This verse came up in my morning reading today and it stuck with me most of the day. Actually it stuck with me so much I did lot of reading to try and get to the bottom of what it was that was bugging me and causing it to stick with me. I finally figured out that what was bugging me is this…How many times have I heard just the first line of that verse without the last line, the line that says, “and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself”? I have heard a lot of people say that good deeds won’t get us into Heaven. I do agree that doing good deeds isn’t what gets us into Heaven, but maybe some good deeds are actually just living like Jesus would want me to live once I have given my life to him and that those good deeds just may be required…
If you read Luke 10:25-28 you will see that this verse was actually the answer to a question (see below)…
Luke 10:25-28 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.’ 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
Question to me…..What must I do to inherit eternal life and How do I ‘Love the Lord with all my heart and with all my soul and all my strength and with all my mind and How do I love my neighbor as myself??
If I love the Lord with all my heart and all my soul and all my strength and all my mind then I think I would be me trying my best to give my all to showing Jesus in all my actions and that includes those actions I have towards other people.
Reading farther on Jesus explains even more….
Luke 10:29-37, But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Do I live like that?? Do I love my neighbors as myself? Do I show mercy like Jesus does? Is it even possible for me to live like that fully? If I saw someone beaten of course I would like to think I would stop and help but what about other sorts of things?
On any day in my town you will see at least one person standing on a street corner with a sign that says things like “will work for food,” “hungry any donation will help,” “family trying to get home need gas money.” I have read stories about people doing this as a scam and have heard that some actually make a pretty good living at it. I have a friend who’s daughter stopped and gave a man food who had a “will work for food” sign and he got angry at her for giving him food and he refused to take the food she gave him.
Personally I find it really hard to decide who is legitimately in need of help and who is not there have been many times have I just driven right by. There also have been times that I have stopped. I’m not saying everyone is scamming I am just saying don’t know who is and who isn’t.
But does it really matter for me to know if I was scammed or not? Seriously is that really any of my business?
Today the thought occurred to me that maybe Jesus just wants us to take care of everyone … Maybe he even wants us to take care of those who may be scamming us. After all they are his children too and maybe he needs someone to show Him to them. Could it be that they are just off track and need to know that someone actually cares about them? I have been off track at times in my life too and if it had not been for a Christian who showed me Jesus who knows where I would be right now.
Another thought… what would happen if I did exactly what the Samaritan did in the story Jesus told? What if instead of giving money or food I stopped my car and said, “Would you like to come to my home for dinner?” Ya I know that could really be a dangerous thing to do in this day, but I think Jesus would stop. And I also think he would not even think about his own safety, after all he went to the cross knowing it was going to be painful and that he was going to die, but he still did it anyway.
Maybe if I stopped my car and the person were really scamming he would just tell me to go away? Just maybe we are supposed to do what we feel God wants us to do and let him worry about who is really in need or not in need. Maybe I should just try my best to be a good neighbor and let him take care of the rest.
The man in the scripture asked Jesus…“what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
The answer was….‘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’.
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
I too want to live.
Question…Am I really living if I am not taking care of my neighbors? Is it about getting to Heaven or is it about living my best to be like Jesus right now in this moment? Heaven is the prize at the end but how would I feel if all I did was believe in Jesus, believe he died for my sin, confess my sin and then sit back the rest of my life waiting to go to Heaven while never really caring about my neighbor’s plight or doing anything to help? Is that really giving one’s life to Christ?
I really don’t think it is.
One more time…
‘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’. “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
Anyway that was just my thought for the day….
Thanks for reading,