Summary: We all have excuses on why we can't be a neighbor to "that" person. But Jesus doesn't leave room for excuses.
Title: Who Is My Neighbor?
Text: Luke 10
Well good morning Real Life, welcome to the new year!
It’s crazy to think 2016 has already come and gone… Last year at this time my wife and I were getting ready to make the 33 hour drive out here. A few months before that we had sold our house, put all our stuff in storage, and decided to travel the country until God showed us what was next. A path that would eventually lead here.
We traveled all over for about 4 months, during the last months of 2015 and first week of 2016 my wife and I saw over 30 states. But a funny thing happened at the end of that trek. I started wanting routine. Don’t get me wrong, I loved traveling. But our life was so up in the air and filled with so much uncertainty that I was ready for routine and stability. Once we got here I was ready to settle down, get back to work, have projects around the house, and just have a semi normal routine. We are creatures of habit aren’t we?
We like our routines… We like to be in a familiar place, with familiar people, at a familiar time.
Take this church for example… If you have been coming here for awhile chances are you sit in the same seat… And if your seat is taken when you show up you might even get a little upset.
We are creatures of habit. We like to see things through the same lens the same perspective, the same place. This week I want to shake that up that tendency we have.
To do this we are going to look at one of the most famous stories Jesus ever told. So famous that we have named hospitals after the main character in this story. It’s the story of the Good Samaritan…
If you have your Bibles or want to pull out your phones, flip over to Luke 10:25…
On one occasion a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 10:25
Let’s stop there for a minute. First Luke tells us that this guy came up to test Jesus. This guy knows the law inside and out. So the first question is why would this guy be interested in what Jesus has to say? His first question gives us a clue this guy is looking for.
This question he asks should set some bells and whistles off in our minds. “What must I do to inherit eternal life? The answer is nothing, we can’t do anything to get God’s love, we can’t do anything to deserve salvation. There’s no way we can be good enough. Though that doesn’t stop us from trying. That doesn’t stop us from thinking that if we just do enough good stuff it will out weigh the bad stuff.
Now before we start criticizing this guy… Don’t you and I do this all the time? I am the king of lawyering and finding the loop hole. When I was about 8-9 my mom starting leaving me alone while she ran to the store. She had two rules for me when I was home alone… Under NO circumstances could I go to the door. And if someone called I could not tell them I was alone. I knew exactly what the rules were. But I also knew exactly where the loopholes were… One day while alone I noticed my friend walking up to my house. I knew the rules I wasn’t allowed to go to the door. But my mom never said anything about going to the window… That blew up in my face when he went home and his mom asked if I was home and he responded “His mom’s not home, he can’t come to the door.” She asked how do you know that? “he answered the window.”
That’s what this lawyer is trying to do. He’s trying to find the window. He’s looking for the loophole. He wants to know how he can do what he wants to do without suffering the consequences.
Maybe you’ve see the phrase “Be a Good Person” on a bumper sticker or t-shirt. It seems to be a growing trend and belief system for many. Just be a good person, it’s our default way of life. And listen I’m all for being a good person, I vote yes. That’s a really good idea, but when it comes to living it out it gets messy.
We start having these little arguments. Well what is good? What is bad? And who’s good compared to who. And who’s bad compared to who? So it all seems like a good idea, but it’s not really isn’t firm footing to live your life on. But the Bible fortunately, teaches the exact opposite of that. The Bible doesn’t teach be a good person and hope for the best. It doesn’t say be a better person than that guy.