Who is My Neighbor? – 2

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”  Galatians 5:13

I found a booklet in our little library from 1976, entitled “Who is My Neighbor,” [1] in which John R. Stott discusses the example Jesus gave of love, and specifically, the who, what, why, and how of loving our neighbor.  I’d like to post the entire thing here, but due to space and copyright limits, I really can’t.  So, I’ll just share a few excerpts over the course of several posts.

WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?

Stott:

“The victim [in the Good Samaritan] was just ‘a certain man,’ undistinguished by any characteristic except that he was a human being in urgent need.  The Good Samaritan did not know him, and in worldly terms was under no obligation to help him.  He probably belonged to a different race, rank, and religion.  BUT, his need, together with the Samaritan’s ability to meet his need, constituted him his neighbor.”

Jesus:

I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

“For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?  Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same?  And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles [unbelievers] do the same?  Therefore, you are to perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect.”  Matthew 5:44-48

Stott:

“So, we must be ‘perfect’–that is, all-embracing in our love.”

 

 [1]  John R.W. Stott, Who is My Neighbor?  Inter-Varsity Press, London. 1975.

Earlier posts on this subject are under “Heroism of Love“, and “Who IS My Neighbor?”

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