Saving Grace

Being a good neighbor is a way of life for the Christian

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’”
– Luke 10:29-35


nce when Jesus was asked about the two most important commandments, he responded, love God with all your heart and your soul; love your neighbor. These two, sum up the whole commandments.

The above text is about showing love for the neighbor. Earlier in the text, a lawyer asked Jesus a question to test him. “How do I inherit eternal life?” Jesus knew that the young man was trying to entrap him, yet he was civil with him.

Jesus asked, “What does the Law say?” The lawyer responded, “Love God and love your neighbor.” Jesus responded, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

“Who is my neighbor?” the lawyer inquired. Jesus responded with a story. A certain man was traveling and was set upon by some thieves. They beat him up, robbed him and left him for dead.

Shortly after, two very important individuals passed this man on their way. They were recognized as men of God. Yet, they would not give assistance to the dying man.

This man, the two supposed men of God left to die on the road was their neighbor. God calls us to act. We become like these men when we observe crime, and injustices going on around us and refuse to get involved.

Often, within our communities, we see things which are wrong happening around us, but we refuse to do anything. In those incidents we are not being good neighbors.

In the story Jesus tells the story of a Samaritan, a person who was not expected to exhibit and display kindness and charity. Yet, this foreigner stopped and provided help to a desperate man.

In the eyes of the Jews, the Samaritan was a pagan. He was not expected to give help, but he did. He was not concerned about his personal safety. He saw a person in need, and he gave help.

Jesus’ point is that you don’t have to know someone for him to be your neighbor. Who is your neighbor? Your neighbor is everyone. He does not have to look like you. The people around you, especially those with whom you come into contact is your neighbor.

It does not matter that you do not know a person. He or she is still your neighbor. There was a time in The Bahamas when we used to know our neighbors. We helped our neighbors. We looked after their children and kept a keen eye over their property.

As we continue to celebrate our 49th birthday as a nation, I pray that we continue to observe those Christian values that encourage us to be neighborly to the people around us. I pray that we always show concern and help the poor and needy.

I pray that we, as a people will always stand up for justice and seek to speak up for those who are without a voice or defenseless. Being a good neighbor is a way of life for the Christian. Amen.

• Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Dr can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone 426-9084; website: 

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