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Neighbors: Loving Them Like Ourselves (4 of 6)
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
In the words of Mr. Rogers: "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood; a beautiful day for a neighbor. Won't you be mine? Could you be mine?
"It's a neighborly day in this beautywood; a neighborly day for a beauty. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?
"I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you. I have always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you. So let's make the most of this beautiful day. Since we're together we might as well say, would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won't you be my neighbor? Won't you please, won't you please? Please, won't you be my neighbor?"
Well, Mr. Rogers of children's television fame is not the first to consider neighbors as among the most important relationships of life.
There was a very religious man long ago, a Pharisee, who came to Jesus one day and asked Him a question. "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment of all?" And, of course, you see the response of Jesus in verse 37. But in verse 39 Jesus emphasized the importance of loving your neighbor even as you love yourself. And that's what we're thinking about today.
I. THE MAGNITUDE OF THIS COMMANDMENT
Now, I want you to understand that what we are considering today is not incidental or insignificant, but it is extremely important. Jesus takes this issue of neighborliness and loving your neighbor and lifts it to a place of vital significance. In fact, if you will look in verse 40, Jesus said, "On these two commandments depend the whole law and the prophets."
Now, I want you to understand that the Pharisees had lots of laws. They majored on minors. They had difficulty in keeping the main thing the main thing.
Now, let me give you an example. God gave to Moses, and thereby to the children of Israel, the Ten Commandments. One of those commandments pertains to keeping the Lord's day holy, and to keep it as a day of rest. The Pharisees began lookin ...
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