What you must do is love your neighbor as yourself. There is no one who knows your many faults better than you! But you love yourself notwithstanding. And so you must love your neighbor, no matter how many faults you see in him. ~Martin Buber
“What’s wrong, Traci? Are you sick?” One of my favorite ESL students was concerned because my voice was gravelly.
“No, I just have a frog in my throat.”
“What? You have a frog in your mouth?” Her eyes popped wide open.
She’s a very good English student, but sometimes knowing and understanding are two different things.
In Luke 10, we meet a man who knew, but obviously didn’t understand. He asked Jesus how to inherit eternal life, and Jesus returned with, ‘What do you think?’
The guy gave a great answer:
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27 NIV
Jesus told him that he hit the bullseye.
But there was a frog in his throat that he just couldn’t swallow.
Who is my neighbor?
He didn’t understand what he had so correctly quoted. He had heard it all his life, even thought that he had it right based on his confidence to answer Jesus so quickly, but he didn’t understand.
Love God and Love Others.
What about you? Do you understand?
Are you willing to loan your car to some people, but not to everyone? (This is not a driving record issue.)
Are you comfortable inviting people to worship with you but refusing to worship with them?
Are you able to forgive a stranger but not your former best friend?
Do you see the homeless man, the CEO, the single mom, the childless couple, the refugee, the different skin tone, the drug addict, and the preacher with the same eyes?
Jesus never gives an answer to the man. Instead he tells a story of overcoming fear and hatred to have mercy on another child of God. Then he says:
“Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:37 NIV
It’s time for us to do likewise as well.