Week beginning: 19th June, 2016
By Jon Hyde | London
"He asked Jesus, 'And who is my neighbour?'"Luke 10:29 (NIV)
It might just be because I'm a litigator, but the word "neighbour" barely features in my vocabulary at work. "Opponent", "other side", "client", "Counsel" and "expert" are all common, but the only context in which we talk of "neighbours" is in disputes between them over land and/or rights.
In this passage, an expert of the law is "testing" Jesus as to how he can "inherit eternal life" (v25). They quickly establish that the "lawyer" should obey the fundamental precepts of the Old Testament law to love God and neighbour (vv26-28). Like any good litigator, the lawyer can't leave it there as he wants to justify his question (v29). He therefore asks Jesus who his "neighbour" is, and in response Jesus tells what has become known as the parable of the Good Samaritan (vv30-37).
One important point that Jesus makes (among many) is to explain that our "neighbour" particularly includes those with whom we may fundamentally disagree, and with whom there may even be outright hostility (as there was between Jews like the victim in the parable, and the Samaritan who saved him). I need to be constantly reminded not only to love my clients and colleagues, but to love everyone else that I litigate with – or against – just as much (if in different ways). How will you love your neighbours at work this week?
1. Give thanks to God that, even whilst we were his enemies, He loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us, and reconcile us to Him.
2. Ask God to help you to be mindful this week of who your "neighbours" are at and through work, and for His grace to love them well, and to work out what that looks like in practice.