By Frank Pollard
"Whose Neighbor Are You?"
He is an expert in the law (Luke 10:1). He has his doctors
degree is scriptural jurisprudence. He is the expert. He did not
come to learn from Christ. He didn't come with a teachable
attitude. The scripture says he came to test Jesus. He came to
check Christ out. The implication is that he came either to make
Jesus look bad or to make himself look good. So he asked a question
he thought would start a theological debate for which there is no
real answer and he would impale Jesus on the horns of a dilemma. He
would look good in the argument and Christ would be discredited.
Not so. He found himself entrapped in the trap that he had
set. He was like a school boy who worked up his own examination and
flunked it. Jesus said to him in essence, "Knowing me is not about
studying the doctrines of grace and work. Knowing me is a matter of
relations. Having eternal life is determined by how you relate to
the Lord God, to my Father and to me." He answered the question with
a question, "What do you read in the scripture? What do you think?"
The proud man of scriptural experience had probably never seen it
before. He was like a lot of us. He had read scripture all his
life. He had memorized this passage. He had quoted it but he had
never seen it before. "You will love the Lord your God with all your
heart, with all your soul, with all you mind and with all your
strength and your neighbor as yourself."
He could not let the discussion end there. He had to keep this
discussion going so it would look like he was justified in quizzing
Jesus. He said, "Who is my neighbor?"
That's a good question. Who is my neighbor? But Jesus had
an even better question in mind and he set him up for it by telling
him this story. "A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to
Jericho; and he fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat
him, and went off leaving him half dead. And by chance a certain
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