Pastor Jeff Knott of Grace Church in Port Hope, Ontario continues the sermon series “parables: secrets to the kingdom of heaven” with “Who is my Neighbour?”
Polarization describes a worsening condition in our day. People are moving a part from each other; people are finding a reason to walk away from each other.
The answer to the question, “How do I inherit eternal life?” is to love God with the totality of your being and to afford your neighbour that exact kind of love. It’s the same word for love – Agape love. Not different, not lesser, the same kind of love.
When the lawyer asks, “Who is my neighbour?” he is really asking, “How far does my love extend?”
The lawyer asked, “Who is my neighbour?” Jesus asked “Who acted like a neighbour?”
The lawyer recognizes that the neighbour is the one who provides the care for the other; it’s the one who shows mercy who is a neighbour.
For Jesus “neighbour” is a verb – it’s a way of behaving toward others, to be neighbourly, to be open to care for anyone when we find them, however we find them. Jesus defines a person by their actions.
We need to lose some labels in the way we approach people.
We must first choose to be a neighbour.
Where do you draw the boundary lines of your love? Are there limits to your love?
Who is my enemy? Who do I choose to intentionally draw a boundary with?
Jesus said to love our enemies.
Show mercy to the whosoever you find.
In a world of political upheaval, in a world of ecological devastation, in a world of racial oppression, social disintegration and spiritual despair – all of this is a result of spiritual despair – being a neighbour is part and parcel of Jesus’ way of healing His creation – that’s what He’s calling us to – so let’s go and do likewise.