Summary: The debt of love can never be fully repaid, but we should die trying.
The Debt that Cannot be Repaid
Being a Christian should affect every area of our lives. Relationships [ch. 12] with God, friends, and enemies...and even government and human authority in our lives [ch. 13:1-7]. LOVE is the reason for all of this. Love: the more you give away, the more you possess...and no one can take it from you. But if we stop loving, we are the poorest of men.
end of v. 9 - ’love thy neighbor’ [one who is near] The Bible definition of neighbor is everyone we can have contact with, which today, is virtually everyone! Our world has radically shrunk!
And ’neighbor’ includes thy:
Homosexual neighbor, liberal neighbor, homeless, black, addicted, disabled, immigrant, Muslim, atheist...etc.
These verses say ’love’ 5 times and neighbor twice.
v. 8 Obligation.
A negative is followed by a positive. "Owe no man any thing." This doesn’t mean you cannot have debt in some fashion. [necessity of a home vs. luxury items]
"...but to love one another" = all Christians have a type of indebtedness which can never be repaid...it is a debt of love.
"But drops of grief can ne’er repay..."
We are loved with an infinite love, and we are to pay it forward to others.
v. 9 Explanation.
All 5 negatives here [thou shalt nots] can be stated positively in the last phrase...love your neighbor! That takes care of all the above, because they are all sins against love.
Adultery isn’t love, it’s disgraceful and defiling of your neighbor. It jeopardizes their happiness and reputation and their family...the very sanctity of their home is defiled. It’s a sin against love.
I’m tired of people calling adultery love. "I fell in love with someone else." A man has a faithful wife and kids he brought into this world with her, but someone at works pours some sugar into his ear and he is willing to throw it all away, destroying many lives, and then he wants to call it love? Does love really destroy lives?
Murder is a sin against love. [how about war?] Planned parenthood says, if you really love this baby, you’ll spare her from being born into your difficult situation. Show her you love her...kill her!
Lying is a sin against love. So is gossip. And stealing, and coveting.
v. 10 Illustration.
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Takers [thieves] say what’s yours is mine, and I’ll take it if I can. Is that loving your neighbor? Like gambling: winnings come from losses. You don’t love your neighbor when you try to take from him. If you want to build roads or schools, just donate the money directly! The test cheater is taking something which isn’t his. [football player copying from neighbor word for word including one question where his seatmate wrote "I don’t know", and the football player wrote, "Me neither."
Keepers say what’s mine is mine and I’ll keep it if I can. [priest and Levite] Selfish people are very unhappy in spite of their efforts not to be. Guaranteed recipe for misery: think about yourself, talk about yourself, use ’I’ as much as possible, be suspicious, expect to be appreciated, be hypersensitive, jealous and envious, never forgive, trust no one, insist on respect, demand agreement on everything you think, sulk and pout if not, shirk your duties, love yourself supremely!
Givers say what’s mine is thine, and you can have it if you need it. Love is action, and must be given away to exist.
Jesus is the ultimate giver, for he saw me, a beggar on the highway of life, wounded and incapacitated, but He poured in the oil and wine of forgiveness, He fed me and made me a home of comfort. Jesus had righteousness which I didn’t, and said what’s mine is thine, and you can have it because you need it!