Luke 10 Lesson

Loving Our Neighbor

LOVING OUR NEIGHBOR

God commands us to love one another! Of all the commandments in the Bible, only loving God comes ahead of loving our neighbor. Our focus scripture for today's lesson records Jesus’ answer when a lawyer asked Him, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

  • “And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”   And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?”   And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”   And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”   But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” – Luke 10:25-29.

WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?

The lawyer then asks Jesus an important question, “Who is my neighbor?” Quite simply, our neighbor is anybody that we meet.  

GOD BRINGS PEOPLE INTO OUR LIVES FOR A REASON

Have you ever wondered when new people enter your life if they were sent by God for a certain purpose?

God moves people in and out of our lives as part of His overall plan for us. The Prophet Jeremiah wrote:  

  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11.

There are no accidents or coincidences with God.   Every person that enters our lives is there for a reason.  All these people need to be loved and to know the love of God.    

WHY DOES GOD BRING PEOPLE INTO OUR LIVES?

  • Sometimes it is to discipline us. “For whom the Lord loves He disciplines, just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.” - Proverbs 3:12.
  • Sometimes it is to teach us.   God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still declare Your wondrous deeds.” – Psalm 71:17.
  • And sometimes we do not get to know why.  “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9.

Regardless of why God brings people into our lives, and who they are, it is our job to love them! One thing that is important for us to realize, is that God also wants us to love ourselves.   In fact, He commands it!    Notice how He adds, “As yourself,” to the end of the following scripture:

  • “One of the scribes came up and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?”    Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:28-31

LOVING OURSELVES

Jesus did not simply say, “You shall love your neighbor.” Instead, He said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”   Adding the words “as yourself” to the end of that command is significant!  God not only wants us to love our neighbor, but He also wants us to love ourselves. He wants us to love ourselves even if we have done things in our past that we are not proud of. The Apostle Paul certainly understood this. Earlier in his life, Paul persecuted and arrested the very Christians that he would spend the rest of his life serving. Paul wrote to Timothy:

  • “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.   Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.” – 1 Timothy 1:15-16.

Yet despite all that he once did, Paul knew that God loved Him.   Paul had this to say about God's love in his letter to the Romans:

  • "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:38-39.

CONCLUSION

God commands us to love those that we meet. We may not know how or why people come into our lives, but we understand that it is all part of God’s plan. He wants us to get to know one another and to be involved in each other’s lives.

We cannot love our neighbor if we do not know them! Loving our neighbor requires effort on our part. It is not a passive thing. We will conclude today’s lesson with the following scripture about the importance of practicing hospitality:

  • “Do not neglect hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” – Hebrews 13:2.

Comments

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Pat Dermody

John, thanks you for the excellent commentary on loving ourselves and our neighbor. Unless we love ourselves how can we have a healthy relationship with our neighbor? And it is true that loving our neighbor requires effort. A friend may ask for our help at the most in opportune time. However, as God finds time for us so we must find time for our neighbor.. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

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How can you apply what you have just learned?

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Dan
Virtual Bible Study

Although Martha worked around the house out of love (I believe) and loved Jesus, she needed to be reminded that spiritual matters should not be neglected by the needs of the physical. Jesus chided her gently that Mary has chosen the better part--so seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness is what we are called to do (Matthew 6:33)

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Adam Gideon Pedzisayi

Thanks for a powerful exposition and an in depth analysis of the word of God in Luke 10, were our Lord sends the 70 on a mission which also typifies our role in the great commission. After preparing them teaching them and sound doctrinated them into his own carbon copies, he sends them a away ahead of him to the cities that he himself was going to come. I have arrived to an interesting revelation after reading this portion of the scripture which can be better explained by the use of the analogy of personal documents. We all have our IDs and whenever we apply for a job, we make photocopies which we will send as part of any application for an interview. So they are many photocopies but one original and a copies can't be authentic without the original, because it's made from the original and in this case it's Jesus Christ.
Because they were ambassadors of christ and acted in the interest of the kingdom, the devil's domain was shakened in those places they went, and The Lord saw it, and he said "I saw the devil falling like a lightning", their preaching was so powerful that it weakened and destroyed the throne of the devil that it couldn't hold henceforth he fall and demons came into submission to the power of God, as they're being chased by the disciples. The disciples themselves were amazed by the fact that the evil spirits were submitting to their authorities and command, but Jesus was quick to illuminate and shed some light to their attention to focus on the the most important thing which is in line with the will of God that is the kingdom. In Matt 7:21-22, Jesus warned his desciples about risking to loss their places in the kingdom of God, as he said, "21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

We are called to be more focused on the making the kingdom know through Christ, we thrive on borrowed authority and this can only be put into effect for as long as we remain connected to Jesus. When evil spirits submits they are not submitting to us but the authority in the name Jesus, as philippians 2:8-10 states, "21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

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Dan
Adam Gideon Pedzisayi

Adam, there is certainly only one God the Father, and one Son, Jesus the Christ.

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