The Muslim community in Christchurch is suffering.
Because of this there is a significant need for genuine neighbourly love.
Despite this, as Christians, we can be slow, reserved or unintuitive with our neighbourly love. Often, because of the cultural and religious differences between Islam and Christianity.
In the Parable of the Good Samaritan we are challenged to love like the Samaritan does.
But we are also reminded of the imperfection of our love. We can never love well enough to fulfill the law and earn eternal life. Jesus is the only person who has ever shown perfect neighbourly love – fulfilling the law and earning eternal life which we receive ‘in Christ’.
The truth of the Gospel in this way becomes exceedingly refreshing for us as we seek to love our neighbours. We are reminded that ‘in Christ’, we have a perfect ‘neighbour love’ record and have been forgiven for imperfect neighbour love.
The truth of the Gospel also free’s us to love our neighbours without fear of endorsing Islam, without hesitation or guilt and with a a lack of self focus or back patting.
In other words – The truth of the Gospel free’s us to love our suffering neighbours well.
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25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 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 he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’