Series GOD’S MISSION, MY MISSION with Pastor Mark Finley |
Lesson 7: Mission to My Neighbor |
Memory Text: 1: Luke 10:27 – He answered, ‘ “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”; and, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” |
7.1 The Question of Questions The scribe posed to Jesus the central question of eternal life, even though he initially came to test Jesus. Nevertheless, Jesus recognized the significance of this question and used the opportunity to explore the hearts of the scribe and the audience. The question of eternal life is at the core of our existence and holds paramount importance, irrespective of religious rituals or practices. In 1 Corinthians 15:30-32, Paul emphasizes the importance of eternal life, pointing to the alternative, eternal death. Jesus always sought opportunities for mission, even when the motives of his conversation partners were doubtful.
7.2 Jesus’ Method and Response The encounter between Jesus and the scribe illustrates that God knows the desires and yearnings of our hearts better than we do. In a similar vein, when others inquire about our faith, we should serve them to the best of our abilities, regardless of their motives, as their needs and desires may be genuine. The mentioned Bible verses, such as Matthew 26:56, Acts 17:11, 1 Corinthians 15:3, and 2 Timothy 3:16, teach us that the Word of God is the source of truth and that we should read and study it ourselves to find answers. God has given us His Word, where we can find all the necessary teachings for our lives and the attainment of eternal life.
7.3 To Inherit Eternal Life The scribe answered his own question by stating that one should love the Lord, their God, with all their heart and treat their neighbor as themselves. Jesus affirmed this response and urged him to put it into practice to attain eternal life. This underscores that it is not enough to merely know the correct answers in faith; one must also put them into action. James 2:17-22 similarly emphasizes that faith without deeds is of little value and admonishes us to express our love for God and others through concrete actions, aiding the needy rather than offering lip service. Christianity is not solely a collection of beliefs but a way of life expressed through love and deeds.
7.4 Loving Others as We Love Ourselves Jesus teaches us to love others as we love ourselves and stresses that our daily life is based on these two commandments. Galatians 5:14, Micah 6:6-8, and 1 John 4:20-21 reinforce this teaching by revealing that love for God is demonstrated through practical acts of kindness and interactions with other people. Paul explains that love for God becomes visible through the deeds that testify to our faith. This highlights the significance of love as a central principle in the Christian life, as Paul passionately underscores in 1 Corinthians 13.
7.5 The Good Samaritan Story Today The parable of the Good Samaritan, told by Jesus, emphasizes that it is not sufficient to know the right answers; one must also put their beliefs into action. Jesus intended to show that our neighbor is not defined by origin, skin color, or social status but by anyone in need of our assistance. This story serves as a reminder to be attentive to the needs of people in our vicinity and actively help them, regardless of their faith or background. It encourages us to be kind and merciful, much like the Good Samaritan in the parable, and translate our faith into practical acts of neighborly love.