Who Is My Neighbor?
Luke 10:27 NASB
“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.”
—Luke 10:27 NASB
Read on in Luke 10 and you will hear a young lawyer ask Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”
I’m pretty sure I know what was going through his head. “Loving others as I love myself is a huge requirement. Surely this must only include a small group of people like me.”
But then Jesus blindsides him with a parable that breaks all the stereotypes, a narrative that challenges his worldview and rocks his preconceived ideas.
In this story, Jesus shows him that race, lineage, status, religious affiliation, education, etc., have nothing to do with the classification of “neighbor.” We are called to show mercy and compassion to all who need it…no matter who they are.
In the creation story, God clearly tells us that all humankind is made in His image. Human life is sacred and intrinsically valuable simply because of the image stamped upon it. This leaves no room for any “ism” that places one group above another.
Look around at God’s creation. God delights in diversity! We are not all the same, and God said that is good!
Part of loving our neighbor is enjoying and celebrating both our differences and our similarities. It is listening to stories of those unlike us. It is learning from their experiences and allowing the things that could divide to draw us instead into something much greater than ourselves.
Who is my neighbor? Anyone who bears the same image I bear, the likeness of his or her Creator.
Sonja Vernon, RN, BSN is the Vice President for Student Affairs at GBSC. She has been part of Student Affairs since 2000 and is passionate about working with college students.
She also speaks at women’s ministries and youth events.