So Are You a Good Neighbour?

Sermon on July 17 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi

Scripture:  Luke 10 : 25-37

It is much easier to love the idea that you love people than to actually love people themselves. What kind of neighbour are you?
If you would be a true neighbour:


  • Scoring points with God is failing His test    ‘…what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ (v25b)
    The lawyer has religion (measuring himself by what he is doing) and no gospel love. The words ‘do’ and ‘inherit’ do not belong together! Without grace, we end up feeding our self-confidence, not loving because we know we are loved.
  • Pulling the bar down makes us feel winners     ‘But he wanted to justify himself and asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?’ (v29)
    It is always easier to go for the minimum requirement. If you make the circle of people to whom you need to be kind to enter heaven small enough, then you will feel you have hit the target.


The contrast between the indifferent (the merely religious) and the concerned (the Samaritan) exposes true gospel love.


  • Not harming others is not gospel love     ‘A priest… passed by on the other side. So too a Levite…’ (v31,32) 
    If we think that passive righteousness is all that God wants, we can ignore suffering without feeling guilty!

‘Anyone then who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it sins’
(James 4:17)

  • Building separating walls is not gospel love   ‘But a Samaritan… came… and took pity on him.’  (v33)
    No Jew expects a Samaritan to be good or the hero! He outclasses the religious, not because of his race but because he does not care about the victim’s identity.

‘Of course I love people. It’s just Lucy I hate.’
(Charlie Brown in a ‘Peanuts’ cartoon)
Lucy, not the world out there is the measure of our love!

  • Risking all for the unlovely is gospel love   ‘Look after him and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you might have’ (v35)
    The good neighbour will risk all for someone he does not know, even someone who may never be in a position to repay him. A good neighbour shows mercy because he lives in the atmosphere of mercy poured out on him.

Why should we be like the Good Samaritan? To know Jesus is to know the answer.
Only Jesus went all the way. Jesus crossed from heaven to earth, made Himself vulnerable, was insulted and crucified. Only by His wounds are we healed, by His work are we reconciled and by His resurrection made able to love like this. There is only one way forward…
‘Go and do likewise!

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