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Who is Our Neighbor?

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
March 8, 2020 1:00 am

Who is Our Neighbor?

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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March 8, 2020 1:00 am

We conclude our series where we began in Luke, Chapter 10 and the good Samaritan. We ask, “who is our neighbor”? and see how Jesus clearly defines this answer in this beautiful verse in Matthew 25, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

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Series: The Least of These

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From the Salvation Army you're listening to wonderful words of life.

Welcome back to wonderful words of life we are glad that you're here. I'm Bernie Dake and Jimmy Taylor and Jimmy it's been a real pleasure having you here. You know, traveling this far is is not the, the, the most glamorous of tasks that you would do is establish an army officer but it's gotta be good to be back in Atlanta. It is it's it's always good to back away elevator we think you need to do this again sometime will see, this is our final episode on this series by Robin Heather will be called the least of these, and I've been encouraged by not only just hearing their thoughts and and biblical challenge to us, but Jimmy's thoughts and and hearing more about the sorry from his work where you serve.

Any thoughts on what you for this. The serious Jimmy. I think it just comes down to ministry ministry is dirty. Ministry is messy ministry is rewarding. Ministry can let you down but what is the end goal right.

What is the end goal.

Our people's lives being transformed our peoples hearts being regenerated our people being saved yeah and you know I just I echo what Paul says to live is Christ and to die is gain. I hope that truly what what I desire that in the midst of everything in the midst of what I go through the heart ache that the heartbreak that the reward is greater then my my own self yeah and that when when the end of my days when when Christ calls me.

Call me faithful, and he says well done and you've done exactly what I've asked you to do you love those unlovable people and you seen the least of these for what I they are and what I created to be. Yeah, I think for the stars. I do want to say this, the Salvation Army doesn't believe that your faith is based on your works. Certainly faith without works is dead, dead. So as a Salvation Army with.

There's so many practical opportunities for you to serve, to live out your faith in a sense, even if it's just giving an hour or part of a day to come alongside a community where were serving, so I want to encourage our listeners to understand that you are a child of God and that there are people that live in and around your community that are also child of God that might look a little different and were speaking, particularly of homeless individuals, people that have come into our programs. We want to encourage you to just help us however you can. I want to say thank you to a Capt. Taylor and for his wife Ashley for letting them go and his children think so he could record the series and we want to say we hope that you've enjoyed the series. I know for me it was challenging and hopefully a wake-up call to many as we strive to do a better job meeting the needs of marginalized and sometimes forgotten people in our society.

We love to hear your thoughts on the series so send us an email at and to learn more about our upcoming Easter series that starts next week. Visit Salvation Army thanks for joining us on one for my today were speaking about who is our neighbor, impacting a community by getting to know who is around you that we began this conversation in Luke chapter 10 and we talked about the good Samaritan who is your neighbor well that's how the story kinda engine after Jesus gives this narrative of these three folks that have a very different response to someone who's in need someone who's broken, beaten literally on the ground.

The first guy we know walks away. The second guy looks checks checks it out a little bit kinda hovers over them and then walks away, but the third guy, the Samaritan has a response in fullness, a kingdom response were he not only meets those needs sets the sky for success. The kingdom shows up and changes everything. The end of that story will the religious people when Jesus questions him so what you think about this at one of the questions a throwback is who is your neighbor and that's a tricky question right to parable Jesus told the late 40s may not even have known one another great cell priest and the Levite and the Samaritan and they may not have no one sell neighbor.

It doesn't necessarily mean it's like living next door to for the last 20 years. Right.

But this idea of when it can be neighbor to the world around him right in this idea of who is our neighbor mean that literally is who is our neighbor, like the person that lives next door to me but also we live in a world with so many different cultures all around us, so we ask who is our neighbor.

You know who who is a part of the different cultures the people groups all around us and culture not only quantify do something about skin color. What language you speak, but the culture that you're living so Jesus says which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers and the expert of the lot, replied the one who had mercy on him.

Jesus told him, go and do likewise.

Right. So what we learn from this account. It's a story Jesus told actually happen in our lives. It's happening every single day. So every single day. We have opportunities we will look with eyes of mercy to see people who having me here because there were three different guys that saw the situation saw this guy who was beaten on the ground right at the one who is the neighbor if we want to be neighbor in the way Jesus is talking about in teaching about. It's the one who saw and had compassion and compassion meant more than just feeling something. There is an action behind that compassion absolutely risky compassion like we can't pretend that this story hero who was a Samaritan wasn't a shock to the people that were listening like we now with our scriptural contacts use felt some kind of way about the Samaritans. They review them and they view them as those who were beneath them. So, for Jesus to make Samaritan, the hero of the story where their own cultural heroes.

The priests and the Levites fell short and shocking right so you know we have literal neighbors people that literally live next door to us.

Those are our neighbors. We also live in a world and engage all kinds of different cultures. I mean is the world is more and more connected. I feel like we the opportunity to know more more people in different kinds of people and see when you think of that Samaritan was someone who maybe was a little bit misunderstood. The way that they live the way that they chose to worship the way that they viewed God didn't quite fit with the religious establishment and people struggled on how to reach out to them so they were kind of excluded kind of you know, out in the wilderness that wonder in our own culture. Are there people groups who are kinda placed in that same category a little bit in the wilderness, they don't quite line up with what we believe. So it's kinda easier just to leave those people groups those cultures that are different. Off to the side and not necessarily find ways to build bridges and so I love how Jesus here makes the response about who is doing their nationality where they were born with a date.

He was just looking for those who would walk in mercy example he was holding onto his people. That wasn't just enough to say you are Jewish. To say that she followed Moses it was and it was that you need to walk out with hands and feet you need to have live in action. And so I feel like I could translate nowadays have to say I'm a Christian or to wear a Christian T-shirt door back in again only handles what would Jesus do bracelets you literally need to be willing to do the staff, even for printing uncomfortable situation. I don't know what it was like for the Samaritan to stop continual down next to the broken Jewish man and to minister to him who knows when experiences Samaritans had at the hands of the Jews, and that oppression are like the degradation but that person may decision their heart to do what was merciful what was right. Example to us God and God moves them in that moment right his Holy Spirit came in in the fullness of compassion and created a response because that person was open.

You know and and the Jews. Then they lived in a very polarized world's there was nationalism and there was political arguments there.

There is a lot of political tension in the air as you walked through that area in this place where Jesus was telling the story and I can't help but reflect in the world were living in today all over the world and the new cycle.

There's so much political tension. All of that just really often times builds walls. I heard this quote you know that we need to invest in building larger tables to fit more people on building taller walls or something to that. Sure well this whole parable kicks off because my teacher. The longest one to test Jesus and mess with him right ankle. What do I do to inherit eternal life. Like how do I guarantee my spot in heaven, or how I know that my life is getting meaningful and Jesus takes that moment Eli.

I fell asking a sarcastic sassy question he flips it into a teaching moment and he says to to treat people. Mercifully that's his heart is to treat people nicely. Not just your own people.

Your own kind, but anyone I bring into your midst. So how do I do that in my everyday life. You know you it's great to minister to the person.

My coworkers and whoever God places in front of me but how do I intentionally go out into the world into the culture that I live in and find my neighbor yeah I think that some of the answers we discovered along the way look like staying close to Jesus looks like keeping in step with his Holy Spirit looks like when we go out we recognize that it's not just the stuff we have to get away. But the testimony experience that Jesus has done in our own lives that can bring about transformation and also that he doesn't need us that he invites us to be a part of that.

We also talked about counting the cost may be part of counting that cost is have to choose to be inconvenienced to put myself in situations or respond differently in situations that make me uncomfortable so that I can be a part of God's kingdom purpose not only in understanding my neighbor, but in being a good neighbor, you know, we can talk about all the Scriptures and come to a great theological understanding of who is our neighbor, but that doesn't answer the question of go and do likewise right like that's not a philosophical theological thing it is, but there's an action step, which is go absolutely. So as we go. What do we bring with us. We bring our salvation testimony we bring the gifts and talents that God has placed in us.

We bring the opportunity to cease to be inclusive to serve and to disciple others. Sharon, as we reach out. What are we inviting people back into it's been good to be with you have this conversation around the least of these. And as we've asked today. Who is our neighbor and how are we going to go and do likewise. We hope that we get to answer the question together is really good conversation and this stuff is really worth talking about conversations that we continue to half to grow in our faith and revelation of who Jesus is inviting us to the Salvation Army's mission and the most good. Helping people with material and spiritual needs.

You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army visit Salvation Army to offer your support and we would love to hear from you. Email us at or call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at PO Box 29972, Atlanta, GA 30359 when you contact us will send you our gift for this series is totally free for listeners like you, one per household, while supplies last. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for wonderful words of life follow some social media for the latest episode extended interviews and more. And if you don't have a church home. We invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worships. Glad to see this is Bernie date inviting you to join us next time. Salvation Army wonderful words of life

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