Who Is My Neighbor?

Posted by Scott Foster on

Can’t stop thinking about the Good Samaritan story. It’s one of Jesus’ best-known parables. In a political era that plays fast and loose with “truth”, it’s a comfort because it’s one of the stories Jesus told that Historical Jesus scholars say is authentically Jesus.

It doesn’t get much “truer” than this.

Luke 10:25-37 (NRSV)
25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” 27 He answered, “You shall 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 your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”
29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

I can’t stop thinking about it because of the Mr. Rogers movie. And I can’t think of a person more deserving of the “Good Samaritan” moniker than Rev. Fred Rogers.

For over 40 years on PBS television, Mr. Rogers invited us: “Won’t you be my neighbor?” Generations of American children of all ages put on a pair of sneakers and climbed into a world where everyone is loved, valued, and welcomed exactly as they are. Like, what would Jesus do? Hmmmm.

This documentary tells his story so well! “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Come join us to see the movie tomorrow night (Thursday, July 12, 7:05pm) at the Chatham Cinema, 641 Shunpike at Green Village near ShopRite. You can get tickets on site at the box office or click here to buy them online.

I hear nothing but good things. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry—you’ll love it! Mostly, I’m sure it’s gonna split open your heart. I’m the generation just outside the demo. We laughed at National Lampoon, and SNL making fun of it—“can you say that?” But we never disrespected it. Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood showed us all what a good neighbor looks like. Always.

See you Thursday!

Grace & Peace,
Scott

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