Posted by: Jo | August 22, 2014

Who Is My Neighbour?

“But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:29)

image Last week I was surprised to see the cover of one of our national magazines with these words emblazoned across the cover page;

Stop Ignoring Your Neighbours

I was eager to read what a secular magazine meant by these words and when I turned to the article I was equally surprised by the picture introducing the journalist’s words. It was a photo of a typical suburban street except for the fact that between each house a solid huge brick wall separated them from the next door neighbour. There would be no leaning over this huge structure to chat with those on the other side. No friendly banter on a Saturday morning. No borrowing a cup of sugar. The photo made it clear that we were becoming an isolated generation. The article went on to say that this was perhaps partly due to life becoming so busy/ both parents in the work force/ longer working days etc. It goes on to report a survey conducted with 2,000 Britons who were asked if they could identify their neighbours in a police line-up and a third admitted they could not! How sad!

According to God’s word, loving one’s neighbour is second only to loving our Lord God;

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this; Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30 – 31)

Jesus faced a challenge on these words from an expert on the law who wanted to test Jesus’ answer to this question, “Who is my neighbour?” Jesus counters by telling the well-known parable of The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30 – 36). After that story, the expert had no more questions and I am sure he left Jesus’ side with plenty of soul challenging thoughts.

The article I was reading went on to say that this isolating ourselves from others was actually having a serious effect on our general health and noted;

Quality face-to-face contact is essential for a social species.

It goes on to quote various studies that prove that people isolated from society for any reason have shorter life spans than those with healthy, integrated social lives.image  Our Heavenly Creator of course designed us to be a social species and made sure that he told us exactly how we were to relate to each other with love.  When Peter is writing to fellow believers he emphasises this

“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (1 Peter 4:9)

I looked up the definition of what hospitality means and found this interesting definition.

Hospitality: disposed to receive or welcome kindly, being open and generous in disposition

So perhaps the question for those of us who love the Lord is not, “Who is my neighbour?”, but rather

Show me who is trapped in isolation

Show me who is hiding behind a wall of indifference

Show me who needs a loving friend to talk to

Then we won’t need to ask. The Lord will show us who he has chosen to be our neighbour.


  1. Thankyou Jo, Life has definately changed a great deal since we were children. I remember all the neighbors who lived on our road in England. The nice friendly ones and the not so friendly… the ones who needed help and the ones who just needed you to stop and chat when you passed by their house! We didn’t lock front doors because we knew one of them would always keep an eye on things going on . We lived in “Neighbourhoods! I am blessed to havefound myself sharing same sort of feeling now. They call it a block watch here and most chats are via Email . However , if I am in the garden I always say hi to anyone passing by and most times people stop and chat. The caring for our neighbors is still alive if we make the first move! Thanks be to the Lord!


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