Devotional: The rich young ruler was hoping for a loophole when he asked “Who is my neighbor?” in verse 29. He was hoping neighboring only applied to certain people and not to others. Jesus unraveled that hope by telling a story about a Jew and a Samaritan. At the time, Jews and Samaritans did not get along--to put it mildly. Jews considered Samaritans to be social outcasts, and Samaritans believed Jews were worshiping God the wrong way. For the Samaritan to see a need and choose to meet it, it didn’t just mean giving up his time and money. It meant crossing cultural, religious, and social barriers. Hearing this makes us ask, “who is my neighbor in need, that others are passing by, because it’s uncomfortable, because we don’t like them, or because we are afraid of them? How is God calling me to love them?”
Prayer: God, please forgive me for the times I walk by my neighbor in need because I am uncomfortable. Please expand my perspective on who is my neighbor and give me courage to be a bridge-builder across barriers.