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  • Writer's pictureLisa Lenning

Ask the Right Question

“Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers? He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Luke 10: 36-37, ESV)

I find it hard to feel at peace lately. So much pain, injustice, suffering, and evil has surfaced in our country and in our world, on top of a pandemic that reveals how little control we really have. And how much we need Jesus.

Maybe you are like me, at times wanting to retreat, to avoid the news and social media. And avoid engaging with people, especially people that are not like me.

In Luke 10, Jesus responded to a question put forth by a lawyer who was “desiring to justify himself” (vs. 29). The lawyer knew God’s command to “Love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and to love our neighbors as ourselves”.

But he asked the question, “And who is my neighbor?”, maybe as a way to justify his view of some people as non-neighbors, and therefore unworthy of loving as ourselves.

Jesus answered the lawyer with a story – The Parable of the Good Samaritan. A man is beaten and robbed, and left on the side of the road. A priest and a Levite come upon the injured man, and they both pass by on the other side.

Then a Samaritan, who was culturally seen as unclean and despised, from a racially mixed people group, comes upon the injured man and has compassion, showing him extraordinary care and love.

Jesus then challenged the lawyer to ask and answer the right question


“Who proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” (vs. 36)

I believe God is asking me, and each one of us, to examine our hearts, and ask the right question, “How can I love my neighbor?”

What if we come to Jesus with sincere and repentant hearts, and ask how we can reach out with compassion and mercy to those who are different from us, of another color, another culture, another religion?

I do not claim to have all the answers to the struggles of today. But I am committed to taking at least one step in the direction of Loving my neighborespecially the neighbor who is of a different color.

Let’s join together as Sheep in One Flock and encourage each other to listen and learn with compassion, and stand up for justice and mercy and love!

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