Jesus was asked by a lawyer, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” [Luke 10 v.25]  Jesus responded by asking him how he read what was written in the law,  “How do you read it?”  Interesting question “How” – not just “What”?

The lawyer answers, “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 neighbour as yourself.”[v.27]

Moses, in the final message he relayed from the LORD before he died said, ” return to the LORD your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you.” [Deut. 30 v.2,3]

Israel did this, to a large extent, when they entered the land under Joshua – but then their commitment faded.  A lesson for us surely – and we look to see their fortunes restored – spiritually – not just materially..

Back in Luke we see how the Lawyer “desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”  Jesus tells him of “a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.” [v.30].   He then tells how a Priest and a Levite passed by ignoring him, but a Samaritan came, “and when he saw him, he had compassion” [v.33] and greatly helped him.

The lawyer is told,  “You go, and do likewise.” [v.37] to all such neighbours you see in trouble.  Surely the same is said to us; but this would have a greater application more than a 100 years ago, at least in this country.  Few are neighbourly today, they expect the Govt to act and provide!

But the greatest lesson in this teaching of Jesus is that we must ” love the Lord your God with all your heart…”  Let us note the priority given to the attitude of our hearts.  If that is right, all the rest will naturally follow.

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