Are You A Good Neighbor?   What Does A Good Neighbor Do?

Pastor Brian K. Brown, St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church

Luke 10:25-37

The text is the story of the Good Samaritan.  In the passage we find a ‘certain lawyer’ ask Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life.  Jesus responded by asking him ‘what is written in the law?’ The lawyer responded by quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 – thou shall 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 neighbor as thyself.  Jesus said to him Thou hast answered right:  this do, and thou shalt live.  The bible says that the lawyer wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus And who is my neighbor?  It is at this point where Jesus answered with the story of the Good Samaritan.

In the story, we know that a man traveled from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves, was stripped of his clothes, beaten and left half dead.   This beaten man had three individuals who saw him and his condition, a priest, a Levite, and a Samaritan.  The Samaritan was a neighbor who offered help, healing, and hope to the injured man.  While we are attempting to overcome an unprecedented year, God is calling on us as he did this man to be neighborly.  We have lost the artistry of being neighbors.  When will we realize that every person in every city, state, nation, and country is our neighbor?  We are to be neighbors not only to the priest and Levites, but we must also be neighbors to the Samaritans.    Being neighborly is to meet needs no matter who and where the need exist.  Where is our humanity, compassion, and sense of community?

Pastor Brown answered the question of Are you a good neighbor with four points from the text.  The first point from Luke 10:33 – A good neighbor looks to help.  We need to stop looking for what’s wrong and ask who we can help.  All saw the injured man, the priest, and the Levite but they walked away.  The Samaritan saw and looked to help.  If we are to be good neighbors, we need to reclaim neighborhoods and help each other like we did in days past where we shared what we had.  We need to leave the position of seeing not to help but to have something to talk about.

The second point also from Luke 10:33 – A good neighbor listens with his heart.  The injured man might not have said a word but moaned in pain.  The Samaritan felt compassion for him.  The question for us is are we listening with our hearts, are we listening to what it is being said and also listening to what isn’t being said.

The third point from Luke 10:34 – A good neighbor labors to heal.  The Samaritan was willing to engage in the healing process.  Are we?  It costs something to help someone (time, treasure, and talent).  It’s not money all the time but encouragement and a willingness to stand with and by someone.  Money sometimes does not help but hurts.  Healing can be more than what we do, oftentimes it’s what we say.  Could it be that God doesn’t need us to write another check instead show up and sit in silence to listen and heal the woes and complaints of those who feel wounded.

The final point from Luke 10:34 and 35 – A good neighbor leaves the hurting hopeful.  The good neighbor realized the wounded man was not out of the woods.  He leaves him but provides for continued care for him and guaranteed to pay the cost until the man could recover.  The wounded man would realize he was not dying but living because someone cared and provided for him.  We need to stop waiting on people we know to help those in need and be the ones who show up.  You may not know their name or pain but because they are hurting, you hurt, and let them know you’re by yourself.  We need to be neighbors not just to the ones we know but neighbors to those we don’t.  We should not only be willing to accept help from those we know but from those not known.  So, are we good neighbors looking to help, listen, labor, and leave others more hopeful?

We will have Communion Service in the parking lot on the first Sunday in May at 9:00 a.m.  On Mother’s Day services will be in the parking lot beginning at 10:00 a.m.  Please join our live stream service on YouTube @ St Mark MBC each Sunday @ 10:20 and bible study on Wednesdays @ 7:00 p.m.    May God continue to bless and keep you.

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