Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Luke 10:36-37 -- On Showing Mercy and Doing Good

"Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise."
Luke 10:36-37

This is the response of Christ to the lawyer who asked him who his neighbor was, in the context of loving "thy neighbor as thyself" (Luke 10:27-29).  In between he tells the story of the good Samaritan.  The story is interesting because in the story people who were considered wise, righteous, and very respected walked by the wounded man, but the person who stopped to help him was considered unrighteous and unacceptable... from a group that was ostracized and hated.  Christ preached something very different than what the world was teaching.  He indicated that our titles or positions in society don't matter as much as our actions.  To be good, taught Christ, we should be out there loving people and showing mercy to them.  The commandment to love our neighbors doesn't specify who our neighbors are.  Considering this parable and lesson, we can't justify only loving our families, or only the people next door, or only the people from our country or our circle of friends.  Our neighbors are everyone, and we are obeying God's commandment by reaching out to help them.  God tells us further that doing good to others is like doing good to him... and not doing good to others is like not doing good to him (Matthew 25:40, 45).  He asks us to love our enemies (Luke 6:27, 35), and to bless them that curse us (Matthew 5:44, 3 Nephi 12:44).  Today, let's have mercy on each other, no matter how scary or offensive we find the prospect.  Let's remember the story of the good Samaritan, and follow Christ's admonition to "go, and do thou likewise."

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