“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”—Luke 10:36-37
Today, Marc reminds us that the central Commandment, found in Deuteronomy 6:5 is, “And you will love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” He then punctuates this truth with how we go about doing that, which is found in Leviticus 19:18, by “loving your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus’ contemporaries understood that verse this way: “And you will love your neighbor who is like yourself.”
In this teaching, Marc brings home the reality that you and I are more alike than either of us is like God, and between me and God stands you! And the way that I relate to you, God will relate to me. Therefore, if I want mercy from God, I show mercy to others. Jesus even said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.”
Question: Who do you need to be seeing that you usually pass by? Who do you need to find patience with that you typically don’t tolerate well? Who do you need to be loving, so that the people around you can honestly believe that you love God with all your heart, soul, and strength?
Family Chat: What does it look like when kids hate you at school? What would it look like to love them even though they do that?
Take Action: Whether virtually or in person, meet with your small group this week and talk through both the questions you’ve answered this week and the challenges you have faced (or are still facing!) as you follow Jesus. Be honest about what’s worked for you and areas where you may have missed the mark.