I started a thought last week on a chilly morning in the Columbia Metro Airport that I want to follow through on this week a bit. I mentioned some thoughts around Matthew 22, Jesus’ exchange on the greatest commandments: "love God, and love others as you love yourself". I think we focus too much on, "well, I need to love myself", instead of "love others".
Then there’s the Good Samaritan story in Luke 10, where the teacher asks, "so who is my neighbor?" Again, it’s the wrong question, the wrong focus. Jesus answered, and they missed it. It seems to me that the point of the parable isn’t so much "who is my neighbor so that I may know who to help", but instead, isn’t it "be a neighbor"? That it’s more important to be a person who’s neighborly than to worry about who receives that neighborliness?
I find that I’m wired in a way that wants to find the layered meaning behind the obvious, or beyond "the way I’ve always learned". And this is one of those places where we all know what Jesus is saying – and yet, while most of us would say we know it and understand it, we live in a society that still has its un-neighborly, unhelpful, religiously disengaged moments. I find it in me, and then I see something like this passage from a slightly askew perspective, and I hope there’s still hope for me to live this out.