Jesus once told a parable about “The Good Samaritan.” It was a challenge to show mercy and kindness to any and every one in need around you. Before sharing the parable, Jesus told a self-righteous lawyer that he should love his neighbor as himself. The man wanted to justify himself and the way he treats others by asking “who is my neighbor?” The question reveals a problem that many of us have. That desire to only show kindness to people who are like us, people that we feel deserve kindness, or less challenging people. We sometimes try to be selective in who our neighbor is. However, Jesus helps us understand that our neighbor is anyone who know of that is in need, not just those we like to love.
Read Luke 10:30-37
Discuss: How does Jesus describe the heart of a good neighbor towards the man who was fallen?
Do you find yourself choosing to show mercy to only certain kinds of people while neglecting the needs of others?
What kinds of people do you tend to justify not helping or loving?
What do you believe you are gaining by overlooking people who are different than you?
Read the following passages:
1 Thess 5:11-14
What do these passages teach about putting others needs before your own?
How do these passages reveal your need for the gospel?
What are some practical ways you can love people around you, even when they are different?