"But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him," (Luke 10:35).
This verse is part of a very famous parable Jesus told. We call it "The Parable of the Good Samaritan." It was a story Jesus told in response to a question asked by an expert in the Law: "Who is my neighbor?" The story Jesus told not only identified who our neighbor is, but also graphically portrays what true love looks like. When God tells us that part of the purpose of life is to love our neighbor, he is not talking about having the warm fuzzies toward the people that live next door. The parable shows us what God had in mind.
You might want to read the passage in Luke 10. To summarize, a Jewish man gets mugged, robbed, and left for dead on the street. Two Jewish religious leaders see him and cross the road and leave him for dead. But a Samaritan, who the Jews hated and treated as "unclean", has compassion for the stranger. He not only stops. He cares. He goes the extra mile. He treats his wounds. He puts the man on his own donkey and takes him to an inn. He pays the bill for the man's stay, and tells the innkeeper he will stop back by and pay for any extra expenses. As I count, it seems like the Samaritan went four "extra miles". He cared...radically!
Who is our neighbor? Everyone. What is love? Radical caring. I have a long way to go. How about you?