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Friday, March 17, 2006 

A Simple Question

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

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.

28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

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.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

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.

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.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Who is your neighbor?

Posted by John C.

There are a couple of families in my neighborhood where the husband is often away. Although I am sure the wife and children are capable, they could probably use some yard help. I can do that.

The parable of the Good Samaritan has always confused me. Ever since I was a little kid, it seems to me that the text says that the Good Samaritan is a neighbor.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

It seems that only the Samaritan was a neighbor. Does that mean that the injured only needs to love the Samaritan as himself?

Furthermore, in the last verse there appears to be a third obligation. We need to be good neighbors. Being a good neighbor and loving your neighbor are different duties.

I apologize for bringing up those questions, John, that remain on my mind since third grade.

Helmut,
I am not sure that the distinction of duty that you are making is intended. The moral failing of the priest and the Levite (and the robbers, for that matter) is that they were neighbors, but failed to act the part. Effectively, to ask who is your neighbor is to ask if you are your brother's keeper.

Right, but wasn't the purpose of the whole story to answer the question who is your neighbor?

My neighbor is the people who have poorly used me and then need my help.

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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