July 17, 2020

Who is My Neighbor? (Part One of Two)

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 17, 2020

By Guest Writer: Jill Foley Turner

The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor? Luke 10:29

One NCF local team is known for giving out copies of the old Dr. Seuss book, Horton Hears a Who. Maybe you can guess why. Seuss’ cartoon elephant noticed something no one else did. There were people no one else noticed … who were in danger. Horton vowed to protect them, to give them voice, and ultimately to save their lives.

Dr. Seuss was not a Christian, and we, unlike Horton, are not elephants. Still, the book makes an important point. Some of us have been given more power and influence than others, and it behooves us to use it to advocate for those who might be struggling to fight for themselves. In times of crisis, the sense of that responsibility is amplified.

We are called to bring light to places where people can’t see (Matthew 5:16), attention to the voices people can’t hear (Proverbs 31:8-9), justice to the people others oppress (Psalm 82:3), and – maybe most importantly right now – hope to the world in the name of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:15; Mark 16:15-16).

We are called to be like Horton, to be advocates. And no matter what in the jungle might stand in our way, we are to remain steadfast, unwavering, committed to the One who gives us strength and the people he loves on earth.

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required” (Luke 12:48 NASB).

The evidence in the Word

What does the Bible say about our mammoth opportunity to help others?

Jesus tells a story in Luke 10. Some people call it the parable of the “Good Samaritan,” but, if we don’t read slowly, we can miss the implications of this story. It isn’t only a message to remind us not to pass by someone on the side of the road, or a story written just to show Jesus’ disdain for our judgment of others. At least in part, this is a story about a man who came to Jesus trying to determine who he was obligated to help, in order to do the minimum required to gain eternal life. 

The Scripture puts it straight. He wanted to justify himself (verse 29).

But the story Jesus then tells him isn’t about who we are obligated to. It’s about the completely different way of seeing our neighbor we will need if we want to join Jesus on his mission to seek and save. Viewed from this perspective, now is a time ripe with opportunity.

May the two be aligned as you read his Word.

So … who are our neighbors? Who are these vulnerable people, and what can we do for them?

We’ll let the Bible answer these questions. We encourage you not to pick and choose from the list below but to read it all slowly. Pray as you do, that God will make his heart, and yours, clear to you.

The sick (those who need healing)

Maybe you are young and healthy. Could your first responsibility be to abide by instructions about social distancing, even though you don’t believe you will get sick? Or maybe God is calling you to take some precautions and step in to help where healing is happening. Whatever you do to serve the sick, do it in the name of the Lord, so they will know that the kingdom of God has come near them. 

The poor (and homeless)

Many have lost jobs. Many others were already living on the margins. Some will lose their homes. What are some creative ways you can practice hospitality while keeping yourself and others healthy? What else is in our power to do?


Heavenly Father, help me see those you bring into my life as opportunities to love on your behalf, in Jesus’ name, amen.


Who needs me to go out of my way to make her life better?

Related Reading

Leviticus 19:18; Proverbs 14:21; Luke 12:36-37; John 15:12; 1 John 4:20-21

Enjoy Boyd’s newest and well loved 40 day devotional book: Wisdom For Living. Wise living is all about the Lord Jesus Christ. What is His best? What is His will?

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