Who is my neighbor?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Big Moose, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. I have always been taught that our neighbor is anyone we meet. These verses distinguish a neighbor:
    Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

    Luke 10:
    29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
    30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
    37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
    Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

    Jesus draws a distinction between a neighbor and an enemy, although to treat them both with love, in the first excerpt.
    The second, Jesus calls only one of the three examples a neighbor. If only one was a neighbor, what were the other two?
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  2. The last part of Matt 5:
    46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

    For if you love those who love you... this is in reference to "love your neighbor and hate your enemies", is a neighbor one who shows love or at least kindness to you? Both sections of scripture seem to lead to that conclusion.
  3. We love both our neighbor and our enemy.
    We love point blank and it does not matter one bit if they love back.
    Our neighbor is any one who lives in our area of this world.

    We are to Love and Forigve and both are commands of God. Nothing about them having to do anything - but rather we must.
    God Bless
    CCW95A likes this.
  4. Jesus was teaching to fellow Jews under the Law of the Old Covenant...
    Reading the New Testament (Acts and the epistles) it is fairly straightforward that we are to love the brethren and to love others.
    And never to be a source of harm or offense even to unbelievers.
    Romans chapter 12 gives a pretty good intro to this...
    Big Moose and Fish Catcher Jim say Amen and like this.
  5. #5 Complete, Aug 22, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
    Forgive an anecdotal comment please.

    I went to visit my Grandson yesterday. He was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome as a child, but while studying for A level examinations had a psychotic episode which has resulted in a further diagnosis of schizo-affective disorder. He has just been hospitalized voluntarily in the mental health wing of a local hospital. He is now twenty years old.

    The thing which struck me first of all when entering the hospital wing, was the amount of young patients there were, in their twenties and under. Sitting around, or walking up and down in their own little worlds. However, my grandson sat, with his head on the table as I stroked his hair away from his forehead, and gradually the agitated movements behind the eye stopped and the muscles of his face relaxed and he was at peace.

    Then a patient stopped in the corridor outside the room, caught my eye and approached slowly. A lady with long waving hair, damp from the shower she had just had, her large, beautiful brown eyes holding mine, her arm outstretched towards me. She came, and I held her hand and stroked it gently, and told her she was beautiful, which brought tears. So I stood up and held her close and rocked her gently in my arms until she released me. When she did, she looked up at me and kissed my cheek, before walking away.

    Today in this politically correct world, where care has to be taken not to do or say anything which could be misconstrued, teachers, nurses, in public life, feel constrained to withhold the natural desire to demonstrate love and give comfort, and there is an aching need in so many lonely hearts for just a touch, and word of comfort, and of acceptance from their fellowmen. Needy, broken people, needing love.

    * I thank God for the opportunity there was yesterday, to give, for I also received so much.

    The lady told me that she was God's child, and I said, 'how lovely' - for, 'so was I.' However, she corrected me, and told me that she was 'actually' - 'His child', and that she was 'Evergreen' - for she would live for ever. Her nurse told me it was a reference to a song, which I have looked up this morning and listened to, a song sung by Barbara Streisand, about love. Which is beautiful.

    God, who knows men's hearts, Who knows her heart: may He give her rest, and the assurance in the knowledge of Him, which is not the product of delusion; but of living fact, in the person of His only beloved Son, that she may find true rest, and the eternal life which He alone can give.

    In Christ Jesus

    Cturtle, Big Moose and Mykuhl says Amen and like this.
  6. I'm a bit late on this one, but, maybe a better question to ask is 'who isn't considered my neighbor'...Bueller..........Bueller... ;)
  7. #7 Complete, Sep 24, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
    Hello @Brian Kurkijian,

    I have been attending an exercise class, and yesterday was my fourth session. Each week I have been partnered with someone, who has gone around the course with me, and conversation begins with the usual question and answer routine.

    In yesterday's session: during our conversation, the low attendance at a church in the village in which the lady had grown up was mentioned, and I replied by saying, 'How sad'; then told her of the work of young evangelistic ministers, who had begun the work of church planting within the area, which was proving to be very effective in it's outreach, This produced the announcement that she was an atheist, and so, was not particularly overjoyed at this news.

    She obviously felt the need to continue, and I gave her opportunity, beginning by asking her what the ground for her atheism was, but almost immediately we reached stalemate, by the fact that she believed (obviously) that there is no God. There could be no advance, for me, for there was no basis to work on, and the situation was wrong to begin such a conversation anyway, while lifting weights, and bending and stretching, surrounded by others doing the same thing.

    Her response was defensive in nature, and a little beligerant: and she mentioned conversations with other 'believers', who had obviously tried to persuade her to alter her opinion, expecting me to do the same, obviously, but I did not. We remained upbeat and friendly, but I am a little apprehensive of our next meeting.

    She is my 'neighbour'. I have to show her the same love, that I would a believing 'neighbour', and so I will, by God's grace. May God give me grace and love, and the confidence to share with her as opportunity affords, may she see Christ in me, and have her eyes opened to know the existence of God, for faith cannot come, without that knowledge.

    'But without faith it is impossible to please Him:
    for He that cometh to God must believe that He IS ,
    and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.'

    (Heb 11:6)

    She mentioned standing before the judgment seat of God, when relating a conversation with another believer, and it is sure that she will indeed have to stand before Him one day. How glad I am that I will not have to do so, that, 'in Christ', I will not come into condemnation or judgement, for my sins are forgiven me, and I have been declared, 'not guilty', because of His sacrifice on my behalf.

    Praise His Holy Name!

    In Christ Jesus
    Apologia likes this.
  8. I enjoyed your reply! It's tough to tell sometimes when to proceed with witnessing to others, especially when there is an audience. Now, depending on how the conversation goes, if respectful, proceeding with others around is wonderful because you may never know who is listening in and have a seed planted or watering taking place. However, when the conversation starts getting belligerent as you stated, it is best to cease for another time, especially with an audience. A charged conversation is a dangerous one.

    Would you mind providing some of the highlights of the conversation, such as the statements/assertions by the nonbeliever? This may be more appropriate via private message, but I'll let you decide (y). Keep fighting the good fight with gentleness and reverence of the hope that is in Christ Jesus (1 Peter 3:15). Blessings in Jesus name!
    Complete likes this.
  9. It is a difficult thing to relate to her. And with no instance that I know of in the Bible of Jesus dealing with an atheist, we do not have a good example to follow. Even the Romans believed in some sort of god. The only thing that comes to mind is when Paul was asked to debate or present his case for God before the philosophers on Mars Hill.
    Just let the joy of Christ shine thru even when the workout is difficult. We are to be ambassadors for Christ.
    Complete likes this.
  10. Globalism extended the idea of neighborliness to caring for deprived people anywhere in the world. But that falls short of what the biblical authors meant. Jewish teachers usually used “neighbor” to mean “fellow Israelite.” Leviticus 19:18 clearly means “fellow Israelite” in the immediate context, but the less immediate context applies the principle also to any non-Israelite in the land (19:34). In the new testament, the parables of Jesus include non-Israelites legitimately in the land (e.g. ger, nekhar, zar).

    For more information, I recommend Professor James K. Hoffmeier's work: The Immigration Crisis: Immigrants, Aliens and the Bible (Crossway 2009).
  11. Hi there, @Brian Kurkjian,

    I could not recall the disussion well enough to supply detail, Brian, I'm sorry. However, to my great surprise and delight, she has sought me out, and asked to partner me in the latest session, in which she talked further about her atheism. However, the conversation was not heavy or abrasive, but filled with grace.

    Again, I can't supply detail, but am praising God: for who knows where this will lead.

    I did not say one word directly, the Lord did not give opportunity; but He did give me a great deal of love for her, and I know she received it. For the whole time spent in her company was a delight, a delight not derived from either she or I.

    Praise God!

    May His perfect will be done, for His name and glory's sake.

    In Christ Jesus
    Our risen and glorified,
    Saviour, Lord and Head.
    Big Moose and Apologia say Amen and like this.
  12. A neighbor is one of another household and of another father .
    A brother is one of the same house and of the same father.
    You neighbor need not be your enemy though he might think you are his .
    If you hate your brother who you do see how can you say you love God who you dont see?
    Jesus was the good Samaritan.
    For in many ways we were once Gods neighbor and at emnity with God.

    in Christ
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