“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

The Second Commandment

(Please read Luke 10:25-37)

September 21

This commandment completes a love triangle of the good kind: God, ourselves, and others. God loves your neighbor, so your neighbor is surely worthy of your love too. Being created in the image of God means that we should be like him in love.

In this context, your neighbor is not just the person living next door. We tend to get a little confused on this point although Jesus related a marvelous parable which should clear up the confusion. His parable clearly showed that the “neighbor” to the robbery victim was the “Good Samaritan,” who administered first aid, took the injured man to an inn and paid the expense of taking care of him there.

Commentator Burton Coffman wrote that this parable had alone built a thousand hospitals, or a million, had fed orphans, relieved the poor and poured blessings on all the wretchedness and disease of the earth. He believed that the wounded man in the parable stood for the fallen human race and the one who rescued him was analogous to Christ himself, which seems reasonable enough when you think about it. What better model for loving a neighbor than Christ himself? Just prove to be a neighbor yourself, and accept all others as your neighbors.

Love for others makes it possible for us to follow the “Golden Rule” of Matthew 7:12: “Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (NAS). Like our text, this passage also mentions how this sort of conduct sums up the Law and the Prophets. Let’s live that way every day.

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