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Who is Your Neighbor?

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On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered the question with a question, “What is written in the Law?”

He answered, “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, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In response, Jesus gives the parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus identifies our neighbor as someone who is the most ethnically, culturally, and linguistically distant from us. We were once that fallen person on whom the Lord had compassion. We are to gaze on others and act with the same intensity of love.

We can be sure that Jesus is not excusing us from loving our immediate neighbor, but it does expand our thinking of “neighbor” when He says we are to minister to the culturally different. We are to show mercy to the ones that are ethnically different. We are to go and give sponsorship to the stranger in our midst that might not even speak our language.

We are to follow the example of the Good Samaritan. Think cross-culturally and “Go and do likewise.” This is our assignment. It is the agenda the Lord has handed to you and to me. Take the next step on that assignment. Register and login at missionnext.org

Nelson Malwitz, Founder, Chief Innovation Officer

Nelson Malwitz, Founder, Chief Innovation Officer

Nelson is the generic Evangelical baby-boomer. Born in 1946, raised in the C&MA, he attended Urbana ’67 in college. He holds an MS degree in Chemical Engineering and worked in R&D positions in American industry for 33 years. Nelson is an inventor with formal training in methods of creative problem-solving. He was a founding elder at Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel, CT (1982) and served in many leadership capacities of what is now one of the largest Evangelical churches in New England. In 1998 Nelson founded the Finishers Project, now MissionNext. Locally he attends a Torah study and serves as chairman of the Sewer Commission in his community to be a witness among unchurched leaders.

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