The Testimony of Christians in Society (2)

 

What constitutes a good neighbour? Christ used the ¡§Good Samaritan¡¨ parable to illustrate His teaching of a good neighbour. The Son of God tells us that a good neighbour has the following attributes.

 

A good neighbour will immediately carry out acts of love when he espies unfortunate situations. ¡§When he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him ¡K¡¨ (Luke 10:33-34) As the media and information technologies become ever more robust, we will learn of things happening in our society, country and around the world with ever more speed and magnitude. Lamentable events triggered especially by natural calamity or human catastrophe occur daily before our eyes. When we see the reports of these disastrous affairs, do we offer a helping hand? When we catch sight of the needy among those we come into contact with in our lives, is our compassion aroused and do we come forward to help them? ¡§Observe, take pity and go forward¡¨ are a good neighbour¡¦s demonstration of the act of love, as manifested by Christ, the Son of God. ¡§When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick.¡¨ (Matthew 14:14)

 

A good neighbour¡¦s exercise of love is not deterred by differences in ethnicity, skin colour, religion, or culture. Christ seems to be deliberately contrasting the behaviour of the Samaritan with the reactions of the priest and the Levite, persons the Jews considered to be morally superior, close to God and in His service. The actual fact is that conflicts in religion and culture are usually obstacles to our acts of love. The Lord teaches us the distinction of being a child of God - ¡§But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.¡¨ (Luke 6:34-35)

 

A good neighbour is a caring healer. Christ speaks of the acts of love of the Samaritan in great detail. ¡§He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.¡¨ (Luke 10:34) Many around us are injured in their spirit, needing someone to come forward with concern and bandage the wound with love. Christians are not all professionally trained in spiritual rehabilitation, but have all experienced the consolation and healing of the Son of God. ¡¨We love, because God first loved us. ¡§ (1 John 4:19) The caring healer takes Christ as his example, comforting the dejected, supporting the weak, giving all that he has in quietude, supplicating for those in distress, and offering in love. Most importantly, he introduces people to this physician of the spirit, our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

A good neighbour is a person who has a plan and a sense of duty, knows how to allocate resources, and functionally applies acts of love. Although the Samaritan was not able to personally minister to the injured party because he had other important affairs pending, he provided money for attentive care. ¡§The next day he took out two silver coins 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.'¡¨ (Luke 10:35) Nowadays there are many desolate people requiring assistance. With our limited resources of funds, time and energy, there is an even greater need for intelligent, effective allocation. If we are unable to personally give help, we should entrust the care to appropriate and loyal individuals or organizations.

 

The Son of God is the model for the good neighbour, His sacrifice on the cross fully expresses to those who oppose Him the great love that comes with the whole heart, whole soul, whole strength and whole being of God. Before He rose up to Heaven, our Lord instructed and committed His disciples to love one another, for love is our seal. One day, He will return again and reward all those who have worked faithfully for Him.

 

By: Daniel To

Peace Evangelical Church of Richmond Vancouver

July 30, 2006