This has become a profound question for anyone living in the United States today. And the answer (or even answers) are not as simple as they once were. The original question was asked of Jesus by an expert in the law in John 10:29-37 attempting to justify himself. Jesus answers with a story that focuses on Jewish religious leaders and an ethnically detestable foreigner – a Samaritan. The Samaritan ends up being the good guy in the story – rescuing a badly beaten Jew and taking care of him and so proving to be a neighbor to the beaten man.
This going-the-extra-mile attitude is the key to being a good neighbor! Sadly, in the U.S. today, the statistics are showing a sharp decline in the number of neighbors who even know who lives next door. Add to that the number of foreigners now living in the U.S. as immigrants or refugees and we face even another dimension to our definition of “neighbor”. And then add to that the explosion of technology and ways to communicate around the globe in an instant and the meaning of “neighbor” is stretched yet again. And this has nothing whatsoever to do with political views! This is just the world we live in seen through the filter of a topic that was obviously deeply on Jesus’ heart. Now is a great time to think about “who is my neighbor?”
~from the newsletter of a JESUS Film – “RTNAU” staff member