Love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27
Lacey Scott was at her local pet store when a sad fish at the bottom of the tank caught her eye. His scales had turned black and lesions had formed on his body. Lacey rescued the ten-year-old fish, named him “Monstro” after the whale in the fairytale Pinocchio, and placed him in a “hospital” tank, changing his water daily. Slowly, Monstro improved, began to swim, and grew in size. His black scales transformed to gold. Through Lacey’s committed care, Monstro was made new!
In Luke 10, Jesus tells the story of a traveler who was beaten, robbed, and left for dead. Both a priest and a Levite passed by, ignoring the man’s suffering. But a Samaritan—a member of a despised people group—took care of him, even paying for his needs (Luke 10:33–35). Pronouncing the Samaritan as the true “neighbor” in the story, Jesus encouraged His listeners to do the same.
What Lacey did for a dying goldfish, we can do for people in need around us. Homeless, unemployed, disabled, and lonely “neighbors” lie in our path. Let us allow their sadness to catch our eyes and draw us to respond with neighborly care. A kind greeting. A shared meal. A few dollars slipped from palm to palm. How might God use us to offer His love to others, a love which can make all things new?
How can you reach out to others in a neighborly way? What can you do for people in need around you?
Dear God, thank You for making me new! May I be a neighbor to those who desperately need Your care in order to be transformed by You.
Samaritans, a people group formed from the intermarriage of Israelites and gentiles brought into the land by the Assyrians, only accepted the first five books of Moses as Scripture and rejected other tenets of traditional Jewish faith, such as worship centered in Jerusalem (the Samaritans’ worship was centered at Mount Gerizim).
Tensions between Jews and Samaritans ran high. In choosing a Samaritan as the hero of His now-famous parable (Luke 10:25–37), Jesus brilliantly challenged His listeners on who their neighbors were.