WHO is my neighbor?
Who have heard the true story of the Good Samaritan when the subject is “love of neighbour”? This is how Jesus Christ explained the meaning:
Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
An expert in the law asked our Lord Jesus:
Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Luke 10:26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
Luke 10:27 And he answering said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF”.
Jesus Christ said:
Luke 10:28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
Luke 10:29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my NEIGHBOUR? (Bible translators changed this to “FELLOWMEN”.)
Jesus Christ gave this incident to show the distinction between NEIGHBOUR” and “FELLOWMEN”:
Luke 10:30 And Jesus answering said, A certain MAN went down from JERUSALEM to JERICHO, and fell among THIEVES, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
The MAN was leaving “JERUSALEM”
“Jerusalem” is supposed to be a holy/sacred place where Jesus Christ preached and founded the religion of CHRISTIANITY. However, He was greatly disappointed to see the hypocrisy of the Religious Leaders who even initiated His crucifixion on the cross.
This is how Jesus Christ pictures JERUSALEM.
Matthew 23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:(This indicates exalted position looked up by the people.)
Matthew 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. (Religious Leaders obviously taking advantage of their exalted position imposed this on the people.)
Matthew 23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, (Very clear they present themselves distinct and discrete with their high position from the people.)
Matthew 23:6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, (What is this, but pride that God hates.)
Matthew 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi (The Religious Leaders for this distinction take the position of Priests, Teachers, Ministers, Leaders or Master).
Matthew 23:8 But be not ye called RABBI: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are BRETHREN. (Of course to our Lord this is not appropriate, in fact, it is condemned for He alone deserves the position.)
Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your FATHER, which is in heaven. (Again, the title “Father” solely belongs to God.)
Matthew 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. (This is how they conduct evangelism.)
Reading more verses:
Matthew 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. (Within the cup is spirituality /unseen for the soul”, while outside the cup is “religiosity/visible for morality”).
Matthew 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness (This is discernible by the people, for nothing hidden that is not exposed).
Matthew 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (Nothing is hidden from the all-seeing eyes of God)
Matthew 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
It is understood why the MAN is leaving JERUSALEM, for now it became a place abhorrence to God.
The MAN was going to JERICHO formerly an “evil place” of the Amorites and Canaanites. But God directed Joshua and his people to occupy the place, and by faith the walls fell down and occupied it (Joshua 6:20). Very clear now why the MAN was leaving JERUSALEM and was going to JERICHO.
The story is reminiscent when King Herod wanted to kill baby JESUS. Joseph and Mary in their escape brought Him to Egypt, formerly the land of bondage.
However, on the way:
Luke 10:30 … the MAN fell among THIEVES, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
Luke 10:31 And by chance there came down a certain PRIEST that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
Luke 10:32 And likewise a LEVITE, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
Luke 10:33 But a certain SAMARITAN, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
- MAN – he was leaving JERUSALEM and going to JERICHO, his purpose is obvious.
- PRIEST – person in charge of the Tabernacle
- LEVITE – acting assistant to the priests
- THIEVES – as described by Jesus Christ
John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up SOME OTHER WAY, the same is a THIEFand a ROBBER.
John 10:9 I AM THE DOOR: by me if any man enter in, HE SHALL BE SAVED, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (John 14:6 Jesus is the TRUTH)
- SAMARITAN – man from Samaria, a place in the northern part of Israel where there was intermarriage among Jews. Hence, Samaritans are not considered pure Israelites or Jews, and they looked down on them.
In the story Jesus Christ exposed the real personality of the CHARACTERS. Very clear “neighbour” can never be “fellowmen” as we read in many Bible translations. The hypocrisy of the PRIEST and LEVITE is very clear. No wonder “fellowmen” is substituted to justify “hypocritical love of Religious Leaders” that attract and please many people to RELIGIOSITY. It is about time this deception is exposed for this kind of “love” ultimately ends in the grave.
What the SAMARITAN did to the MAN as “literally” written has great message for “spiritual love”:
Luke 10:34 And went to him, and bound up his WOUNDS, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an INN, and took care of him.
Luke 10:35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
WOUNDS – these are erroneous doctrines on RELIGIOSITY; unwittingly, thought to bring men to heaven.
OIL and WINE – oil for “anointing” and for wine as Jesus Christ told His Apostles at the Last Supper to take of it.
INN –a group where “sheep are gathered together”.
And the SAMARITAN was ready to help the MAN further. Finally, Jesus asked the lawyer:
Luke 10:36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
Luke 10:37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Truth since Old Testament time:
Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the CHILDREN OF THY PEOPLE, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
Mark 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Romans 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.