Jesus demonstrates for us an alternative approach to engaging with those in our mission fields. He doesn’t just say God’s love is available for “whosoever,” Jesus demonstrates what it means to offer that love to “whosoever.”
When you hear the story from the ears of the Jews to whom Jesus was speaking, you begin to realize the Samaritan wasn’t seen to be such a “Good” guy. In fact, Jesus using the Samaritan as the faithful one was offensive at best. This kind of radical love is missed when we assume the Samaritan was just a kind passer-by.
Our nature is to read what makes us feel good about our faith. We stop reading when we feel like we’ve got our life right with God, and skip the hard texts that teach true holiness. This is one of those texts, which calls us to more than just a ‘personal relationship with God.’
A people of faith, our call to share in community with one another is not just about loving thy neighbor. Jesus says that our call as people of faith is to share as family with one another. We mourn together, rejoice together, weep together, and laugh together. This is not just our church, this is our family.
You can’t love on the people around you if you don’t know them and know what they’re going through. We are gifted with the Spirit who leads us out into the world to speak such that others may hear of God’s great love.
It’s too easy to name excuses for why we don’t “Love thy neighbor.” We argue about who is our neighbor, and what it means to love them. So let’s start simple, and close to home. Do you know the names of your neighbors? No excuses, you can’t love well who you don’t know.
Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin is, in short, not only absent from the Biblical word, it’s antithetical to faithful living according to the teachings of Scripture, and it should be expunged from our vocabulary.