Thursday, August 02, 2012

Won't you be my neighbor?

An expert on the Bible decided to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 

“What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you read it?”

The expert quoted from the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy: “'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind,'" he said; and then quoting from the 19th chapter of Leviticus he added: "and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 

“Good answer,” Jesus said.

For some reason, this did not satisfy the Bible expert, and he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 

To which Jesus replied: 

A man was stopped at a highway rest area when a bunch of thugs beat him senseless,  stripped him naked, took his wallet and car and left him to bleed to death.
After a bit, a pastor happened by, and when he saw the man, he decided he didn't have to go to the bathroom after all, and drove on. 
Oddly enough, the next person who came across the man was an associate pastor and minister of music, worship and the arts. He too, steered back onto the road and kept going.
Then a gay couple — they looked middle eastern, perhaps Iranian, but who can tell these things — saw the bleeding, barely conscious man and took pity on him. They wrapped him in a beautiful marigold cashmere throw, lifted him into their Prius and drove straight to a Bed & Breakfast they knew. They got the man settled in a garden side room and called in a doctor, who treated the man's wounds, gave him something for the pain, and prescribed bed rest. The next day the couple left an American Express card imprint with the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ they said. ‘We'll settle up when we're back next.’
“Which of these," Jesus asked the Bible expert, "do you think was a neighbor to the man who was robbed and beaten and left for dead?”

“The ones who had mercy on him,” the expert replied.

"There you go," Jesus said. “I think you know what to do."

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