Luke 10 Part 3–Who is My Neighbor

The parable of the Good Samaritan is a compelling story for all generations. Jesus is asked by a legal expert to give him the recipe to inherit eternal life.  Like most attorneys (including myself), once the recipe is given, he immediately begins to do a legal analysis.  So, he asks Jesus to define neighbor.  In the end, it becomes apparent that neighbors include everyone.  It is the heart and attitude of people and not proximity or ethnicity; that make the difference.

In the story, the most hated person in the Jewish community sacrifices for a Jewish man that would ignore or even treat Him awfully.  So, Jesus asks, inn that scenario who is the neighbor.  The answer is clear.  The man that gives his life for others.  That was the mission Jesus was trying to complete in His ministry.  Remember, God’s plan for Israel was to build a nation of priests, Not warriors.  His people were to carry God’s message of redemption to the world.

In our time, there is so much anger and division that we look a great deal like the people in Jesus story.  As in Jesus time, we are called to be the neighbor.  We are to love folks that we do not naturally even like.  We are called to lay our lives down for those that would ignore or even treat us awfully.  We are called to be Christ’s ambassadors.  We carry the message of hope and redemption to all that would listen.  That mission has never been easy and often is not returned favorably. Still, if we will trust God and follow His lead, He will bless and provide for all circumstances.

God Bless You


25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[c]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

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

30 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. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 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. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[e] 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.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Seeds and Soil-Mark 4 part 1

There is no better illustration of evangelism than the parable of the sower.  God’s message is told to a variety of folks.  Some reject it, some dabble, some try to ride the fence and some follow and allow God to lead.  The parable shows the impact on our lives.  It is really a parable of the seeds and soils.  The soils are us, the seeds the gospel and the various circumstances are life as we know it.  Jesus wanted the people to desire to be soil and want to bear good fruit.  He wanted them to understand that it was neither the message or the sower that controlled the fruit—but the soils.

2000 years later—it is still the soils.  If we fail to accept his message or try to dabble in it, we will never become strong in the Lord.  In addition, if we try to live with one foot in the world and one in Christ, we will be choked out and rendered useless.  It is only when we submit to his leadership and grow in our faith that we are truly able to see the amazing impact he can have on our world thru us.  We can choose to be Good soil by allowing him to prune, weed and nourish us through his word and godly fellowship.  Then as we share his love we see fruit just as he did.  Help me, Lord to follow your leadership and produce fruit.

God Bless You

Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”

Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

Matthew 13 part 1–The Message

the-harvest1In two thousand years little has changed.  The parable of the sower  reminds us that while the message does not change, the impact it has varies greatly depending on the person and the circumstance.  Some people hear the message and ignore it—the seed along the road, they are never impacted at all.  Some people hear the message it impacts them—the shallow soil, but because they have no depth of character or commitment, it soon fades away and they return to the former state.  Some hear the message and it takes root and they begin to grow, BUT—the thorny seed—they are among the folks that would lead them away from Christ and the association ultimately leaves them unusable and fruitless.  Finally, some hear the message and they are transformed—the good soil—and they spend the rest of their life growing, sharing and helping others to enjoy freedom.   The harvest varies among them, but, it is a life of joy and abundance.

Jesus wanted us to understand the message does not change—it is a message of hope and freedom.  Throughout history, it has impacted lives from every nation, class and life stage. Its impact has varied based on the heart of the person receiving it.  We as sowers, share the message with love and work to see it land among those with desire, depth and direction. The Holy Spirit does the work, we simply remain faithful and share often. Help me Lord, to share your message humbly and with the love you intended.

God Bless You

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.