Blessings to you, the readers of this page, in Jesus Christ our Lord. May He guide you and protect you always.

Who Is My Neighbor? Everyone Is My Neighbor!

By Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director - Internet Church Of Christ - LoveAllPeople.org

"Who is my neighbor?" - In the obvious sense, a person becomes your neighbor when you can affect him or he can affect you. A total stranger becomes your neighbor, temporarily, when you (driving your car) encounter him (driving his car) on the highway. At that point, each of you can affect the other to the point of life and death, simply by causing (or not causing) an automobile wreck, which is easily within your power to do.

But in the broader sense, everyone in the world is your neighbor, because we are all inter-connected and inter-related as human beings.We are all brothers and sisters under the Fatherhood of the One God, Who created us all. Everybody affects everybody else to some extent, even if only on the spiritual level.

In our inter-connected world today, millions of people have the power to directly affect millions of other people, some more than others. For instance, the President of the United States is clearly the neighbor to all people in the world, because he has the power to affect everybody, by starting (or not starting) a nuclear war. The corporate president who decides to pollute the air (or not to pollute) affects everyone in the world, to some extent, by affecting the air which we all share in common. And by merely praying (or not praying) for people, we affect them on some level. So everyone affects everyone else, at least to some extent. Thus we all become neighbors to each other, whether we know it or not.

In the Bible, Jesus was asked, "who is my neighbor?" In reply, He gave the Parable Of The Good Samaritan, which shows that when you can affect someone, he clearly becomes your neighbor. In this story, the Samaritan had the power to affect the injured person. Before their encounter on the road to Jericho, they did not appear to be neighbors, because neither seemed to have any connection to the other. But as soon as their paths crossed, and they interacted with each other, they clearly became neighbors. The Samaritan then acted as a good neighbor by helping the injured man. Jesus approved of this, and He tells all of us to "go and do likewise."

It is a bedrock Biblical principle that we are to love our neighbor as ourself. And if everyone is our neighbor, this means that we should love everyone as we love ourself.

Bible, Revised Standard Version
Leviticus 19
[18] You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of 
your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the 
LORD. 
Matthew 5
[43] "You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and 
hate your enemy.'
 
Matthew 19
[19] Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as 
yourself."
 
Matthew 22
[39] And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 
Mark.12
[31] The second is this, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 
There is no other commandment greater than these." 
[33] and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, 
and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is 
much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." 
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." 
Romans 13
[8] Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves 
his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 
[9] The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not 
kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other 
commandment, are summed up in this sentence, "You shall love your 
neighbor as yourself." 
[10] Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling 
of the law. 
Galatians 5
[14] For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, "You shall love your 
neighbor as yourself." 
James 2
[8] If you really fulfil the royal law, according to the scripture, "You 
shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well. 
Source: http://www.hti.umich.edu/r/rsv/

Because we are all now so totally inter-connected, every other person in the world is our neighbor. The old divisions of tribe, nation, and religion no longer apply, (if they ever really did.)

And, to me, this one concept, "Love all people as yourself," is the absolute underlying principle of all right and wrong. This principle is implemented - put into effect - when we treat others as we would like to be treated, if our situations were reversed with theirs. The summary of this idea is, "Treat others as you would like to be treated," which is a generalized paraphrase of Matthew 7:12 in the Bible ( The Golden Rule).

Jesus said . . .

    "So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so
     to them; for this is the law and the prophets."
              Matthew 7:12(RSV)
By this, He means all people in every case. This confirms that neighborly love means love for everyone; that everyone is your neighbor.

Jesus also said . . .

     "You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor
      and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and
      pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of
      your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the
      evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the
      unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have
      you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you
      salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others?
      Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be
      perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." 
                     Matthew 5:43-48 (RSV)
This further confirms that everyone - even your enemies - should be given neighborly love by you; that everyone is your neighbor.

Blessings to you in Jesus Christ our Lord.

# # #

See more pages like this, at our Index of Pearls Of Faith, a treasury of Biblical truths.

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May the Lord bless this presentation of His holy Word.

     Rev. Bill McGinnis  <><
     bmcgin@patriot.net
     

See more pages like this, at our Index of Pearls Of Faith, a treasury of Biblical truths.

Please also see our related pages . . .

CHRISTIAN
ETHICS & HUMAN RELATIONS
POLITICS & PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Sitemap

May the Lord bless this presentation of His holy Word.


     Rev. Bill McGinnis  <><
     bmcgin@patriot.net
     

See more pages like this, at our Index of Pearls Of Faith, a treasury of Biblical truths.

Please also see our related pages . . .

CHRISTIAN
ETHICS & HUMAN RELATIONS
POLITICS & PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Sitemap

Blessings to you. May God help us all.

       Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director - LoveAllPeople.org

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