Luke 10: 25-37 And Who Is My Neighbor?
The question really is: Who is my friend? A friend is someone who helps you when you cannot do it alone. The “it”, is complicated. It is full of meaning. A man beaten and left to die cannot rise, survive, or live alone. His body has been torn apart; his mind is in a state of confusion; his heart is racked with pain. All around him he can only see a hostile world where creatures serve themselves and await, in silence, the other’s death. It is a dog eat dog world where little mercy is shown and little mercy is expected. It is Darwin’s theory of evolution: Only the strong survive. And yet, how can we forget? We are not dogs.
I may forget, but the Lord will never forget. “The Lord will remember his covenant forever” (Ps 111:5). During Isaiah’s difficulties, when all seemed lost and the Lord appeared to have rejected and abandoned the prophet forever. Did he not ask the Lord a simple question? “Will you forget me?” How can I forget the response of the Lord: Forget? Can I forget you? “Can a mother forget her child?” Can the impossible fall upon you? And just to reinforce the message again, the Lord sets the limit on the limitless: “Even if a mother – even if the impossible could occur – I will never forget you! We are not orphans. We are his. We are his children.
A friend is someone who helps you remember when you can’t. “I hate my parents!” is the 2nd greatest lie that children tell themselves. The first being the most obvious: “My parents hate me!” And if this were not the greatest lie ever told, then it would be the gravest sin ever committed. Before we can have any true friendships, we must have a loving relationship with those who love us the most. Order must be put back into my life. The truth must be said. A lie must always be remembered. The truth is never forgotten.
Who is my friend? A friend is someone who helps me when I cannot love myself. When I cannot see myself for who I am: wounded; when I find it difficult to accept the truth of my own sins. When I lie to myself and afflict my own punishment and judgment. When I become the victim of my own abuse! My friend, my best friend, lifts me up and carries me above my own sickness, delusions and realities so that I can once again see the greatest of realities before me: I am still alive. I can still love and be loved. A friend is someone who helps me love when I cannot love.
Who is the Good Samaritan? I AM. I AM who saves. Jesus. He is the Good Samaritan who is rich and became poor so that I could be poor in the things that nail us to this world and rich in the things that lift us high, above this world. Christ was always poor in matter and rich in non-matter: mercy, compassion, love, forgiveness, self-esteem, self-respect and self-worth. He is rich in all the things that money can never buy because money is of man, and God’s image does not appear on worthless items. His image appears in me. How can I forget? I was created in His image. Who is my friend? A friend is someone who helps me discover who I truly am when I cannot see it for myself.
A friend is someone who brings me home, to the Father’s house, since I cannot do it alone. If I have learned anything over the years, it is this: Christ is more than my Lord and my Savior. He is my best friend.