Love your neighbor as yourself.
Jesus said it.
Others quote it.
I’ve heard the question asked “who is my neighbor”? But is that a question believers should ever ask?
It seems asking “who is my neighbor?” is like Peter asking Jesus how many times he should forgive someone. Rather than just do, we seek to qualify, almost as if we don’t want to love too many people, or even worse, love the wrong people.
Instead of a literal few, I believe Jesus meant literally all.
Jesus was once asked about what was really important. The irony is the question was asked by a “teacher of religious law”. The question was “of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Basically, what are the specific things I must do.
Narrow the list so I don’t do too much.
This is what Jesus said:
“The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’
The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
Simple to the point.
Jesus doesn’t clarify either. God is God. My neighbor is just that, my neighbor.
As a believer, if I have to ask who my neighbor is, then I’m trying to qualify who I will love. Who I deem worthy of my love. My neighbor should be anyone and everyone around me, regardless of color, background, beliefs, likes, dislikes, etc., etc., etc.
I am in no way worthy of God’s love, grace and mercy, and yet, despite me, God loves me anyway! If God can love me unconditionally, then who am I to ask “who is my neighbor?”
The only way to really love is to do the two things Jesus tells us to do.