Who Is My Neighbor?

The parable about the Good Samaritan begins with the lawyer asking Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” and Jesus answers with the parable. The parable is probably one of Jesus’s most famous and concludes with Christ asking, “Now which of these three do you think seemed to be a neighbor to him who fell among the robbers?” The lawyer answers, “He who showed mercy on him,” and then Jesus says to him, “Go and do likewise.”

This parable has been the subject of many interpretations, and scholars have debated whether Jesus’s parable is an allegory. My head started spinning when I read the other day all about what other’s say Jesus meant with what seems to be a simple story.

My simple mind comes back to the lawyer’s question, “Who is my neighbor?,” and how Jesus answers his question with another question. — “which of these three do you think seemed to be a neighbor to him…?” The lawyer is asking who is the neighbor you are supposed to love as yourself, and Jesus is saying how to act as neighbor.

The man who the good samaritan helps is a complete stranger. The only thing significant about him is that he needs help, and Jesus tells the lawyer to show mercy on him. I am not a biblical scholar, but perhaps Jesus is saying the neighbor we should love is anyone in need.

What do you think?

About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.

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