Tag Archives: Parable of the Good Samaritan

WHO IS MY NEIGHBOUR?

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So We Christians have to Love OTHERS also As much as We love ourselves.  Mark 12:31.

The word ‘Neighbour’ can also be used instead of ‘Others.’

So WHO is my Neighbour?

My Family is Not my ‘Neighbour.’ If my father lives in the next house, We will not say: ‘He is my neighbour,’ but, ‘He is my Father.’

To Explain this idea of Neighbour, Jesus gave the Example of the Good Samaritan. Luke 10:25-37.

The Jews of Jesus’ time did not like Samaritans. At All. They would not Mix with the Samaritans; Would not Accept even Water from them, – Which is Why Everybody was Surprised when they found Him Asking for Water from, and Talking to, the Samaritan Woman. John 4: 7-8, 27.

Jesus had even told His disciples: “Do Not go to the Samaritan towns!” Matthew 10:5.

So in the parable of the Good Samaritan, it is This Hated Samaritan Who proves to be the Neighbour.

If ‘I’ am Your Neighbour, ‘You’ are ‘My’ Neighbour.

So, Jesus was saying, Even the Samaritan, whom You all hate so much, is Your Neighbour, and You Have to love him (them) AS MUCH as You love Yourself.

FOR US THAT MEANS, WE HAVE TO LOVE EVERYBODY TOO; ANY CASTE, ANY RELIGION, ANY COUNTRY.

Not just our Family.

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So Who IS my Neighbour?

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The dictionary would tell us that the Neighbour is one who lives near Us. That is what We have been taught in Schools too.

But when Jesus had spoken about Our Neighbour, it had Nothing to do with Proximity of Residence. Refer His Example of the Good Samaritan, in Luke 10:25-37.

According to Jesus, A Neighbour is Any and Every Person within Sight; Especially those in Any kind of Need.

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A Good Friend in WordPress, Shiva Malekopmath, has written a post entitled: THUS SPAKE JESUS: LOVE THY NEIGHBOR, at:

https://wordpress.com/read/post/id/85502981/476

In that, he has shown the various kinds of dwelling We face these days, and the Ensuing ‘Neighbours,’ some of whom are More ‘UN-Neighbourly’ than anything else. Very True, of course.

Now, for the Houses of Jesus’ times:

Jewish houses

Jewish houses and street scene

Not too different, as far as Congestion is concerned, from today’s world. Images from Internet. For more, please visit:

http://www.bible-archaeology.info/housing.htm

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That about the Houses. What about Neighbourliness?

  • We know that they had plenty of ‘Judges.’ So Crimes, Fights, Land litigations and Nastiness existed.
  • On top of that, even the ‘Judges’ of Jesus’ time, and even before, were Corrupt! [Luke 18:1-8, and the Book of Susanna, or Daniel 13, etc].
  • The Parable of the Good Samaritan shows that the man had been Beaten up and Left half Dead, Not just Robbed. No Use of Minimum Force! He was left in Blood and Gore. The Priest and the Levite did not want to dirty their Lily white hands on him. So once again, Robbers, Crime and Nastiness existed.

We cannot really call that as Much different from Ours. If We want to speak of Downright Barbarism,

  • Romans Crucifying People by the Dozens on the roadsides, and
  • Nero Fiddling away after having given the command to set Rome itself on Fire, are examples.

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To Conclude:

According to Jesus,

  • My Neighbours are Not Just those of my Income Group, Caste and Creed,
  • Those with Whom We do Not mind Mixing and Eating .
  • EVEN THE CRIMINAL AND HE, WHO CAN RIGHTLY BE CALLED LOW-LIFE, IS MY NEIGHBOUR!

We are All God’s Children; Children of ONE Father.

How We Deal with the Difficult Elements may be a Big and Separate question. But,

According to Jesus, EVERYONE is my Neighbour. To be Loved and Cherished and Cared For.

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Repentance

What Is Repentance? The dictionary gives its meaning as ‘Feeling Sorrow for one’s Actions,’ etc. But Just to feel Sorrow or Being Sorry is Not Enough. A Positive and Concerted Effort has to be made to bring about Changes in that regard. That Alone would be True Repentance.

But Why Repentance and What Repentance? Are We Such Sinners?! 

The Problem is that We have been brought up to Think and to Believe, in most cases, that Sexual misdemeanour’s are the First Sins. We might then think of Murder and Killings, and think that since We do Not do any of these, and Just a little may be of Stealing and Lying, We are Not really sinning! 🙂

This is not a new situation. We find the Question in the Book of Jeremiah: “What IS our Sin?” had asked the People. (16:10).

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But First, WHAT IS SIN?

SIN IS CONSCIOUSLY AND WILFULLY HURTING ANOTHER.

For More on this subject, namely, What is Sin, Please click here (post under preparation).

That said,

WHAT ARE WE GOING TO REPENT?! WHAT IS OUR SIN?

Anybody and Everybody who wants to Grow in Spiritual Life has to learn to Remove ALL that would be Hurting one’s Neighbour, and as such, Dis-Pleasing to the Lord. I could give You a Whole list of suggestions in this regard. For now, let us Concentrate on One point: Our Eternal APATHY. Because Apathy is a Major, and Very Grievous Sin.

Jesus had Not been THIRSTY on the Cross Alone.

I am Thirsty s

Jesus, Through the Ages, has been Hungry, and Thirsty, and Homeless.

Poverty

We Forget that These Defeated Eyes belong to Christ Jesus Himself Who still walks our streets Today. 

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And We get Oh-So-Tired of seeing such pictures, news, views and statements, that We enter into Apathy!

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Jesus gave the Parable of the Good Samaritan, NOT to tell us Who Actually is Our Neighbour, but to Show — TO WHOM ALL WE HAVE TO BE THE NEIGHBOUR. (Luke 10:25-37).

  • The Scribe’s question had actually been: Whom (All) am I supposed to love? Take care of? Treat as my Neighbour, and Mine? [Verse 29].
  • Jesus ends up by asking: Who Proved to be the Real Neighbour to the Injured Man?! [Verse 36].

The Better, and the REAL name of the parable should be: The Bad Priest and Levite! 

One Really has to Appreciate the Artist of this picture, who has brought out Superbly, through the Eyes, the Face and Body language of the ‘priest’ in the foreground, the Superior and Supercilious mind-set of the Upper and Middle Classes!

The Bad Priest and Levite!

Do Not his Eyes say: “Do You Seriously and Truly Expect me to Stop-by and Help You?” Image courtesy: dailyedify.com

The Very Same thing happens in Our lives too many times. Apathy has become So Well Hidden these days, that it is Quite Difficult to Recognize it. For Example:

  • When I wrote something on Poverty and added the picture of some Bread in that, Somebody asked for the Recipe of that Bread in the comments section!
  • Whatever piece of News We hear, whether it be Rape, Gang Rape, Murder of Children, Crass Injustice, Billions of Tax payer money Wasted, …We Quickly Turn Our Minds to Other things.
  • You Spend Endless Hours in preparing an Important Post. People Simply Jump over it. And give a ‘Like’ to a Two-penny-worth post which You had put Just to Smile!
  • People Join a ‘Religious Congregation;’ and Spend their Time in going around the World on Tours, and Posting pictures of their Extended ‘Picnics.’
  • When I was Young, I used to Yearn for Forums where I could Raise my voice over many issues. Today We have that, Easily, in Facebook, the Twitter, etc. But People use these Platforms for Absolutely Inane, Frivolous, Crass and Childish matters. They do not even (Dare to) give Likes, or Give a Share to the Thoughts.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan, or in my words – The Bad Priest and Levite, had been a Lesson Not on Who my Neighbour is, but, Am I being a Good Neighbour?

WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE VERY GOOD NEIGHBOURS TO EACH AND EVERY INDIVIDUAL ON EARTH.

IF WE FAIL IN THIS, THAT IS APATHY, AND WE SIN.

APATHY IS OUR SIN. WE NEED TO REPENT ON THIS.

Repentance would mean Becoming Concerned, Caring Individuals. This does NOT mean putting some money in the Alms box. It means becoming Involved in making the World a Better Place for the Have-Nots. On a 24×7, Year-Long basis. Tough? Christ did not say it would be Easy. But it is Possible. And NEEDS to be done, If We want Peace of Mind, and If We want to Celebrate Lent in a Meaningful manner.

The Root of the Problem!

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The photo in this post is from Rajiv Chopra’s blog, reference below. To me, the Woman’s Eyes Reflect a Calm Acceptance of her Circumstances and Her Inevitable End. What Runs in Our Minds? Westerners might be Shocked at seeing things like these. But it is the Most common sight for Indians. YET, Almost Every Time, We pass them by without a second glance. As mentioned many times in comments in Rajiv’s blog, APATHY. That is the Root of Mankind’s problem. But where does it spring from? Are We born with that?

The problem may be Age old. It had existed at the time of Christ, which He addressed by the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The Bible has said that We Are Our Brother’s Keepers. But, Modern-day Christian Leaders Speak of Faith, Speak of Praying, and Keep Asking for Donations… One wonders if they even know the Parable mentioned!

rajiv's photo

We might Ignore it, Fight it, or even Hate it, but Religion does Influence Us. Our Behaviour might change, but 6,000 years of Human Experience cannot be put aside so easily.

As little as 50 years ago, Religion had its sway, People ‘Felt’ and Believed that doing Bad would bring ‘Bad’ in their lives. Where and When did this mentality change?

Hinduism does not propagate its Teachings in a Formal manner, as Do Christians and Muslims, where regular assemblies are there, and Teachings. Yet the Hindu Way of Teaching, if I can call it that, has been the Most Successful One, seen from the fact that it has Resisted changes. For Instance, Christianity could not make a numerical impact in India.

Yet Changes Have taken place. Indians were Known for their Care and Concern. The Prevailing, Uncaring Attitude of India today is something New. Let us see Why and How this happened.

50 years ago, Religious Institutions were not rich, EXCEPT for… Christianity. I can and do speak about this as I know quite a few things because of my age and my Way of Observance, and because I am a Christian myself. To See particular, Real instances, please click here.

Christian Leadership has been Abysmal. The Useless Museum housing Thousands of rich artefacts in the vatican, the Rich lives of the cardinals and bishops, the corruption in Velankanni in TN(!), etc, seem to have ‘Opened’ the eyes of Other religious leaders, albeit in a Negative way, whereby they too seem to have fallen in love with money.

I was in Gorakhpur, UP, for long years, and I know that a GREAT amount of Food Grains used to accumulate there as offering. Yet nothing bad was said about the Gorakhnath Temple or its administration. That was 50 years ago. What have We NOW? Reports of the Shankaracharya of the South having ‘properties’ in Nepal, and court cases against him, is an example.

People are Not listening to What their (Religious) Leaders are Saying. They Observe, and they Emulate. Thus Religious Leadership Plays the Greatest of Roles in Shaping Society. The Vacuum in the Religious Leadership is the Root of the Problem.

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Please Do Visit Rajiv’s Blog: http://rajivchopra.me/2014/08/04/the-hunger-project-3-what-do-you-see/

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