Loving Your Neighbor

muslim family“You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? “And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Mat 5:43-48 NKJ)

gay familySo where in the Bible will you find the quote, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy?” You won’t; it is not there.  The quote was taken from the teaching of the Scribes and Pharisees.  This question was put before Jesus by a lawyer in Luke 10:29, “But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” To the Pharisee, a neighbor was an Israelite or anyone that claimed to be Jewish. Anyone outside that category was worse than a dead dog.  So you can imagine their disgust when Jesus defined a neighbor by using the analogy of a Samaritan.

It’s easy to love those that love you, have the same likes and dislike and go to the same church. But what if your neighbor is Muslim or Gay? Jesus makes no exceptions.

Today the Jews hate the Palestinians so much that they have adopted the same spirit that was prevalent in Germany under Hitler’s plan to eradicate the Jew. Hatred has a life of its own and will consume you.  What would happen if the Israeli and the Palestinian practiced the words of Jesus and showed loved to their neighbor instead of aggression?

 

Published by Terry Threadwell

Dr. Terry Threadwell has thirty five years ministry experience. Author, educator and Director of the Institute of Progressive Pentecostal Studies.

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