Who Is My Neighbour?


By Rita McHale

Good morning ladies, greetings from Summer Lane.

Right from the beginning we see how God’s word emphasises on how we treat our neighbours,we read in Deuteronomy 6:4-6 can you turn to this scripture please, read also in Leviticus 19:33-34 how the stranger is to be treated.

Jeremiah 31:33-34 goes on to say, read, again in Matthew 5:43-44 Jesus teaches ‘you shall love thy neighbour and finally in Romans 13:9 you shall love thy neighbour as thyself’

So it is plain to see God wants his people to treat all those around them KINDLY, it was always in the law of God to treat ALL people kindly as we have seen examples of this tell of Abraham in Genesis 18:1-3. The question who is my neighbour seems a strange one as we see the Jewish people had always known who their neighbour was.

Let’s go back to Jeremiah 31:31-33 God says,

‘in those times the people had gone off the rails they had turned their backs on God and had forgotten God’s ways so Jeremiah had taught them the way back to God and at the time of this writing the people had repented and turned back to God.’

Jeremiah had repeatedly and faithfully encouraged the people to come back to the ways that were told them in the beginning. We see now that all is well with the people as they had the law of God written on their hearts. This is the key to knowing who our neighbour is, putting it simply being KIND to all people.

Going into what the new testament teaches we start with the master teacher Jesus.

In Matthew 5-7 Jesus talks about attitudes, how we should look at ourselves and most importantly have the right attitude, show kindness and act upon it.

We haven’t got time to discuss Matthew 5-7 but by and large Jesus’ words do really hit home as these chapters are mostly how we should treat others and recognising how our actions affect those around us, remember to keep the words of Deuteronomy 6:5-6, they should be written on our hearts. Can you see how the old testament teachings blend in with the new testament God’s word never changes.

Those who were listening to Jesus were amazed at His teaching as He spoke as having authority, but here he is having to remind people yet again to put their God first in their lives and be KIND. Matthew 7:29.

Shall we now turn to Luke 10:25-29.

‘A certain lawyer stood up and asks Jesus ‘what shall I do to inherit eternal life’

It’s obvious the lawyer hadn’t embraced the teachings of Jesus although he knew the law it wasn’t written on his heart and isn’t that the case with so many people today, they know the right thing to do but unfortunately other things get in the way so is their heart right with God.

Jesus then answers with a question in verse 26 ‘what is written in the Law? what is your reading of it?’

The lawyer knew the answer but it was just in his head not his heart even though the answer he gave was the correct one.

Now comes the crunch,

‘Jesus said you have answered rightly, DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE. Still wanting to justify his attitude the lawyer asks “who is my neighbour’

So Jesus tells the story of the good Samaritan which we all know and love. The lawyer was told to go and do likewise verse 37, we don’t know whether the lawyer did follow his heart or not but I hope so. Jesus was emphasising being KIND was being a good neighbour, we must also remember it was a Jew’s duty to look after those who were hungry homeless sick or a stranger, what do you think the lawyer did?

So in conclusion we are taught from the word of God that people all around us are our neighbours and the answer to the question ‘who is my neighbour’ is to treat ALL people KINDLY as we would like to be treated read Mark 12:31 so we can see if our heart is right we will treat those all around us with KINDNESS,even strangers and the hungry Matthew 25:35 and finally can we just take one verse of scripture keep it in our hearts to remind us of who our neighbour is. Hebrews 13:1-2.

Thank you for listening and God Bless you all.