In seeking to justify himself further in the eyes of Jesus the lawyer in fact gets more than he bargained for! I do not think that he expected such a broad answer from Jesus regarding whom he should consider as his neighbour. But, at the same time he learns what the true extent of his love should be. It is a great challenge to have to extend our love beyond the boundaries of those whom it is easy to love.

If we allow the love of God to transform our lives we will find it much easier to fulfil the requirements of true love that Jesus lays down in the parable of the Good Samaritan. The parable does not only reveal to us the extent of our love, it also challenges us to test the attitudes of our hearts towards others and see if they live up to the love we should have for them.

The basic premise of the Gospel is that we should extend our love to all people. The days of choosing who we love are gone. Love for our neighbour extends even to our enemies and those we would not normally desire or have to associate with. We do not have a choice about whom we should love! It is a bit like not being able to choose your relatives! Your blood relations are your blood relations and that is that! With Jesus all men and women become our brothers and sisters.

The simplest test of our conversion to Jesus is the way in which we live our lives. And perhaps the simplest expression of that is the way we love one another. Jesus gives us the perfect example of love in that He dies for us to enable us to be reconciled with the Father and one another. It is only in Jesus that we are able to fulfil the command of loving our neighbour. Jesus’ life is presented to us in the Gospels as a beacon to guide us on our journey. Jesus spends a lot of His time with sinners and the outcasts of society. What does this tell us about love? Simply that love is able to break down all barriers if only we will give it a chance!

How well do I follow the command to love everyone as my brother and sister? Do I need to grow in this area of my life? How can I begin to break down any barriers I may have set up in my life between others and myself?

Holy Spirit, you are the perfect expression of the love between the Father and the Son. Draw me into their love by helping me to live my life under the grace of your power.