Luke 10:27 And he answered, “You shall 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 your neighbor as yourself.”
Luke 10:28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
Luke 10:29 ¶ But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
You have to appreciate this guy. His question gave us one of the most famous parables in history.
The guy would probably like the fame. He wasn’t a humble learner, he was a self-justifier.
It’s ok to ask questions about scripture. It’s even OK to challenge the words of the scriptures. But, let’s make sure the heart behind our questions is one that is ready for the true answers.
I’ve been asked things before at a break-neck speed. What about the trinity? Why does God let kittens die? I heard religion is just a way to get money, etc etc etc.
Many times, those questions aren’t being asked, they are being launched. They are defenses to keep from getting too close to the real matters of the heart.
That was the spot this lawyer was in. “Love your neighbor as yourself” is exposing as soon as you hear it. Gosh, I mean, I really love myself a lot. When I want something, I sacrifice and do all I can to get it, even if it’s a bad idea. Would I go through such things to buy bad ideas for others?
Or being right. If I think I’m always right about my opinions, ideas, and the way to load the dishwasher, must I really always think that ‘my neighbor’ knows the right way to load the dishwasher too? Ugh!
Please, oh please, God, give me a way to make exceptions to your commandments. Give me a way out from feeling guilty about self-justifying myself so that I can really self-justify myself in your eyes too!
That is what this guy’s prayer is, but he doesn’t know it.
Before we ask questions, let’s lay ourselves at the service of Christ and ask for His help. Let’s develop such a deep love for Christ’s ways that whatever His answer, we’ll hear it and be delighted to carry it out, just because it is the answer that He Himself has given.