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The Great Commandment: Love God with all that You Are and Love Others Like You Love Yourself (Luke 10:25-37)

Luke 10:25–37 - 25 And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” 29 But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. 31 “And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 “Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 “But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, 34 and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 “On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” 37 And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.” What does today’s passage say? In today’s passage, a lawyer asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life (v. 25). Jesus asks the lawyer what the law requires. The lawyer answers that one must love God fully and love your neighbor as yourself (vv. 26-28). Wanting to justify himself, the lawyer asks Jesus who counts as a neighbor that one should love (v. 29). Jesus responds by telling a parable. In the parable, a man is robbed, beaten, and left for dead on the road to Jericho (v. 30). A priest and Levite pass by the man without helping (vv. 31-32). But a Samaritan comes by and is moved with compassion (v. 33). The Samaritan bandages the robbed man’s wounds and transports him on his own donkey to find help (v. 34). He makes provision for the man’s care at the inn with his own money (v. 35). After the parable, Jesus asks the lawyer who proved to be the beaten man’s neighbor in the story (v. 36). The lawyer concludes that the neighbor was the one who showed mercy. Jesus then instructs the lawyer to demonstrate the same mercy to others (v. 37). How can I apply Luke 10:25-37 to my life? Our capacity to love people deeply springs from having first experienced God’s perfect, transforming love. Out of intimate relationship with Christ, an overflow of wholehearted compassion for others becomes possible through the Spirit’s empowerment. Yet even with the best intentions, our human tendencies toward complacency, comfort, and judgment often undermine neighborly love. In facing an expert well-versed in spiritual matters yet lacking in love’s action, Jesus tells a piercing parable. When history, hierarchies and prejudice separate us from those in desperate need, only the Holy Spirit can open our eyes to see shared personhood reflecting God’s image and worth. As Christ followers, we cannot relegate caring for suffering people as optional. Here are some basic principles from this passage we must apply to our lives:

  1. Love God with all that You Are (vv. 25-27): When questioned about eternal life, Jesus highlights complete devotion to God as the foremost command. Make loving God with every faculty your life's passion. Evaluating areas lacking full surrender, offer them afresh to Him. Wherever Scripture reveals compromise or complacency, realign priorities for wholehearted obedience. Die to self-interest that inhibits loving Him with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. God deserves such wholehearted worship and allegiance. As you center each day on loving and enjoying Him, obey out of gratitude, not duty or earning favor. Savor fellowship with Christ through Scripture meditation, worship, prayer, and obedience. Consider nothing too great a sacrifice to love the God who gave everything for you (Deuteronomy 6:5; 30:6; Matthew 22:37; Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 3:7-8).

Food for thought: Is anything inhibiting wholehearted love for God? What tangibly demonstrates He’s first place in your life?

  1. Love Your Neighbor the Same Way That You Love Yourself (vv. 27-29): After emphasizing loving God completely, Jesus highlights loving each neighbor as yourself. Apply the care and concern spent on your own needs to meeting others’ needs. Sacrificially serve even those who cannot repay you. Esteem all people as precious image-bearers of God, regardless of differences. Ask Him for compassion and creativity to demonstrate selfless, practical love. Remember when you were helpless, then extend the mercy you’ve received from Christ. Sharing His heart for humanity compels going the extra mile with generosity. When you feel irritation toward anyone, confess lack of Christlike mercy and love. Pray for and bless even difficult people. Entrust judgment to God rather than harboring resentment. Make space for the outcast and vulnerable by turning from selfish ambition. Walk steadily in Spirit-empowered love toward all (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:32-36; Galatians 5:13-14; Philippians 2:1-4).

Food for thought: Do you apply different standards of love for yourself versus others? Who comes to mind needing a practical demonstration of care this week?

  1. Love Beyond Cultural and Social Boundaries (vv. 30-37): Jesus’ parable stretches our understanding of “neighbor” to anyone in need, demolishing prejudice separating groups. Following the religious leader's self-justifying question about loving broadly, Jesus illustrates moving beyond comfort zones through a despised Samaritan's compassion. Ask God to highlight any underlying bias that distorts seeing people as He does. Demonstrate Christlike love across man-made divides of race, nationality, class, or political parties. Build connection through empathy, sincerely listening to other perspectives. Meet tangible needs in humble service without partiality. Leave judgments to God rather than writing people off as beneath you. Though pride urges ranking yourself above others, adopt Jesus’ willingness to identify with outcasts. Refuse to dehumanize those deemed enemies or the lowest in society. Christlike love reaches out to bind up wounds, meeting needs at personal cost. Who qualifies as your neighbor? All who bear the image of God (Genesis 1:27; Luke 6:27-36; John 4:4-42; Acts 10:28, 34-35).

Food for thought: Do you reserve greatest compassion just for your own groups? Where is God inviting you to broaden your capacity to love people not like you? In a world prone to scrolling past suffering, Jesus sets a piercing call before His followers. What will we see as we pass those left destitute? Do we justify inaction through judgments of worth, risk or cost? This parable offers no wiggle room for passing by without compassionate response. For embodying such love, we must first abide in God's love through wholehearted devotion to Christ with all our faculties. Only by loving God supremely can we then love our neighbor as ourselves with the same tireless commitment. May we ask for fresh empowerment of the Spirit to daily take up Jesus’ model of crossing manmade barriers to lavish worth on outcasts, meet tangible needs through generous action, and advocate for the vulnerable among us. No longer can we casually dismiss the implications of loving beyond our favorite circles at cost and inconvenience. Jesus leaves His audience to wrestle with practical demonstration of exemplary mercy. May we prayerfully reflect on who proves our uncomfortable neighbor—and how we might draw near. Prayer Dear Heavenly Father, I pray You give me Your eyes to see people as You do and have mercy. Grow my capacity to love by keeping me rooted in Your unconditional love through devotion to Christ. Where my heart grows cold or judgmental toward groups unlike me, soften me to love all as image-bearers of You. Empower me by Your Spirit to engage compassionately with suffering You put in my path, even at personal cost or discomfort. Conform my hesitations to the conviction and courage of Christ’s sacrificial love. Use me as Your hands to bind up wounds, meet urgent needs among the vulnerable, and advocate for the marginalized. I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Luke 10:27 - And he answered, “You shall love the lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” With His Blessings, Pastor Corby

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