This Is The Way

Today’s Scripture: Luke 10:25-42; SOAP / Luke 10:27

The expert answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”

Luke 10:27 NET

To love the LORD with ALL of your being and others as yourself is the heartbeat of salvation. For if we do not love God with all of our being, how will we be able to love others? And if we do not love others, how then can the love of God be in us? I believe that today’s passage is proof of this. It was not unusual for the “experts in the religious law” to “test” or try to trap Jesus up with His words – but the tables were always turned because the answers Jesus gave were always lessons that pointed the listener closer to understanding the Gospel Jesus came to preach. I would venture to say that every believer, and likely the majority of unbelievers, are at least familiar with today’s passage, both the command to Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength and your neighbor as yourself – as well as – the subsequent story of the “good Samaritan.”

The “test” question put before Jesus was, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered the question with not just one, but two questions, saying, “What is written in the law?” and, “How do you understand it?” The expert answered the first with today’s focus verse, and received Jesus’ confirmation that he had answered correctly. However, instead of answering the second question, “the expert, wanting to justify himself,” then asks Jesus another question – saying, “who is my neighbor?”

So, you see, the story of the “good Samaritan” is not a separate entry or random thought in this passage, but the very thing Jesus knows will not only answer the experts question, “who is my neighbor?” but will also help point him, and anyone listening, to the truest example of loving God and others as the Word, or law, teaches.

Such love does not include seeing someone hurt or in need and passing by them as though you do not see them or can’t be bothered with them, or worse yet and perhaps more to the point, that they don’t deserve your help. Instead, the love Christ is referring to requires investing yourself in the person, loving them – helping them, not only with their pressing need , but any needs (spiritual, physical, or material) that may arise in the days to come. The expert of the law acknowledges this when he recognizes the “neighbor” would have been “the one who showed mercy to the injured man.” May we all hear and heed Jesus’ reply to the expert of the law, “Go and do the same.”

O the love that drew salvation’s plan!
O the grace that brought it down to man!
O the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary.

Mercy there was great and grace was free,
Pardon there was multiplied to me,
There my burdened soul found liberty–
At Calvary.

Source: One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism: an African American ecumenical hymnal #322
Response to God’s Word

Holy Father, You are worthy of all of our love – from every part of our being, and Jesus has called us to love others just like He has loved us – In love He gave up His life for ours. Holy Spirit help us to love like this – not holding on to our lives but giving them up for His sake, for in this we will be true followers of Christ – loving You, our God, with all of our being and others as ourselves! In Jesus’ Name and for Your glory – Amen

Want More?

Be sure and check out today’s Love God Greatly Blog

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