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What Does it Mean to “Go and be a Neighbor?”
Our theme verse for today comes from the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:29-37
Jesus spoke this parable in response to a lawyer that asked “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him with a question “What is written in the law?”
Jesus answered him, “Do this and you shall live”
This should have been enough of an answer but the man then asked, “Who is my neighbor?”
To explain this, Jesus gave this parable that
doesn’t talk about what you do in your family
doesn’t talk about what you do in your work
doesn’t talk about what you do with the people that live nearby
The point of this parable is to describe the action the Samaritan took to care for a fellow human being that had been hurt.
You know the parable, a Priest walked by and a Levite walked by but they didn’t do anything.
Then, a Samaritan, a man the Jews would have nothing to do with, came by and helped.
Jesus said in Luke 10:36-37
Valentines Day
Now, I am going to step back for a minute because we are very close to Valentines Day.
February 14 is the day when we remember those who are near and dear.
Those of us with close personal relationships may express our love by giving cards, candy, flowers, or dining out.
There are many that don’t have someone in their life and may not be a recipient of this kind of love.
As a child of God, the Good News (the Bible) lets us know, you‘ll always be loved by God and never forgotten.
I want to take this occasion to talk about Love, not just the natural human kind of love, but the God kind of love.
(The origin of St. Valentine Day can be found at History of Valentine Day, 2009,
St. Valentine
Valentines Day was originally set aside to honor a martyred Christian, named Valentine.
Over time, it has become extremely commercialized, and today there are few that know it’s origin.
Today’s Symbols
If we do a search on Valentines Day, we will find several symbols that are used which includes
the heart-shaped outline
and this chubby and playful winged little boy named Cupid
Cupid (Eros)
But Cupid was not always this playful little child.
Cupid is often shown with a bow and arrows, which he shoots to ignite love in one’s heart.
Cupid, The original Cupid was a Greek god called eros
(the Greek word for desire)
At one point, he was said to have a sharp golden arrow, that if shot, would cause love in the heart it pierced.
But if he shot a dull lead arrow, it would cause disdain in those it struck.
It was said that Eros was “a wanton boy, of whom a thousand tricks and cruel sports are related, and from whom neither gods nor men were safe”.
Cupid (eros) was thought to play with the hearts of mortals and gods to cause mayhem.
This concept of Cupid (eros) refers to sensual or passionate love, from which the term erotic is derived.
It recognizes that there is a natural, carnal, love that draws people together, but it can also become vulgar when this passion is only directed toward self-satisfaction.
We might describe this today as stalking, or rape, or physical abuse.
We might also recognize that in many pagan religions having sex with a temple priestess was a way to worship the gods.
Greek Words Translated as Love
Eros is one of several Greek words translated in English as love.
There are four main Greek words translated as the English word “love” but each has a slightly different meaning.
However, this word eros which is implied through Cupid on Valentine’s Day, is not found in the New Testament.
Another Greek word storge, which is the love within a family, is also missing in the New Testament
This word would is a clear part of a marriage and family
Jesus was very clear in Mark 10:6–9
We also understand that God established this family structure so we could raise “a Godly seed”, children in Malachi 2:13.
There are two main Greek words that describe love in New Testament.
These show us God’s priority for our lives as Christians in this age.
The first is philia, which is a friendship.
Friendship is a mutual bond, where both are inclined to help or support each other.
An example of philia love is in Galatians 6:2
This means we should be aware of the things going on in anothers life and help them as we are able.
Another example is in Romans 12:15
There are challenges that we sometimes face.
There are also victories that we can celebrate.
No more pain in my shoulder.
Eye sight for Rich.
The other Greek word in the New Testament is the most common word used which is agape.
This carries the sense of affectionate regard or benevolence toward someone.
Jesus said in John 15:12
philia and agape are must have ingredients if relationships are going to succeed
So, lets now get to what it means in Luke 10:36-37
Who was a neighbor?
Well, Jesus said it was the one that “showed mercy”
When we look up the word mercy here, the definition says, “See Love”
But this wasn’t just to “love”, the word “shewed” before it means to “make a path for”
This Samaritan made a way for the wounded and injured man to experience love as his needs were taken care of.
The emphasis in the New Testament is on these two kinds of love, “philia”, friendship, and “agape”, unconditional love, the God kind of love.
This “agape” love is what God showed us through Jesus Christ in Romans 5:6–8
We only come to know this “agape” love because God has demonstrated it to us.
This is the love that creates in us a heart of flesh, as God promised in Ezekiel 36:26–27
As Born Again Holy Spirit-filled sons and daughters of God, we no longer should be driven by the self-gratifying lust of the flesh.
Instead, because we know the love of God for us, and trust Him as our provider, we should be aware of the needs of others.
This means we’ve learned to act as the Good Samaritan did.
May this Valentine’s Day be a blessed and joyful one.
May we not only experience the “agape” love (that sense of affection), that God has for us, but that we also demonstrate it, as the Apostle Paul did.
Paul, in Romans 16:1-15 as he recognized all of the people that were doing their part as Christians around him.
Paul sends his agape love of gratitude to fellow believers who supported him by:
laboring with him
praying for him
giving sacrificial gifts
Let this day also remind us of God’s love, and that He wants us to share it each day, as He did at the cross.
God our Father showed us his agape love, by giving the greatest gift mankind could ever receive.
He could give nothing greater than His only begotten son.
Go and be a good neighbor
Who is around you that you can help today?
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