Like a Good Neighbor

According to Jesus, the entire Bible can be summed up in just a few words:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” — Matthew 22:37-40

Then elsewhere, we read of a man who asks Jesus who his neighbor is as if to somehow get out of loving some people. He was comfortable being able to show love to a few people, and he wanted to narrow his circle of love down to the ones closest to him.

Our problem is exactly the opposite of this man’s problem. Our problem is that we know Jesus doesn’t want us to narrow our circle of love, so we expand it so wide it includes the whole world, and then, we get this warm feeling inside us as we fool ourselves into thinking we love the whole world when in reality, our notion of “love” is so vague that it’s practically meaningless and never prompts us to action.

But what if Jesus meant something more specific and practical? What if he meant we were supposed to actually love people? And what if, I know this is radical, what if he actually wanted us to love our neighbors!? Yeah, the people who live right next to us!

What does it mean to be a good neighbor the way Jesus would have us be good neighbors?

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