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Do you love your neighbor?

Would you be willing to do me a favor?

… Look to the person on your left … Look to your right … Do you love your neighbor?

At the end of this talk I want you to commit yourself to one practical way that you can show love to someone who is a “neighbor” to you.

Why: Who wants you to do this? (God, Mom, Dad, grandma, your pet goldfish …)

Mr. Fred Rogers said so (put on sweater). Fred knew that the world had a problem. And that problem is not enough neighbors.

Just Exactly Who Is My Neighbor Anyway

At the end of this talk I want you to commit yourself to one practical way that you can show love to someone who is a “neighbor” to you.

Fred was always good with a story. Your story today takes place …

The scene is over 2000 years ago. A road, somewhere between Jerusalem and Jericho.

Our 5 characters start with a Jewish man, who has been severely beaten;

(Call up: ____________________________________)

Raymond, a 22nd century reporter transported back to 0 AD. He is a futuristic reporter who is outraged by a high crime rate; He feels he can trace the cause of crime right back to this road; this moment in time. Although; no one is quite certain how he was transported back in time.

(Call up: ____________________________________)

Finally, we have a Jewish Priest; a Jewish Levite; a Samaritan.

(Call up: ____________________________________)
(Call up: ____________________________________)
(Call up: ____________________________________)

A wounded man crawls to Raymond. The man pulls on Raymond’s leg. Raymond is involved in his newscast; he doesn’t notice the man or the action of the Samaritan.

The journey from Jerusalem to Jericho is a 17 mile trip; descending 3500 feet. The road is heavily traveled by merchants, tourists and passer byers. The barren wilderness offers plenty of hiding spots for robbers and would be villains to do their disastrous deeds!!!

With the frequent traffic between the two cities, it would not be long before someone passed by to give help.

A hearty traveler could make the trip in a day. Downhill toward Jericho is a quick trip. There is an inn; a hotel located along the way would serve the needs of slower casual travelers. Although; no one is quite certain where the hotel acquired the chlorine for the swimming pool.

If the priest and Levite suspected that the beaten man was dead, they might have been concerned about the inconvenience of contracting an unclean condition if they were to touch the beaten man. Jewish law, however, at this time, required people to help someone whose life was in jeopardy. Or bury a neglected corpse even though such acts would render them unclean. Although: no one is quite certain where one would find a back hoe in 0 AD.

At this time, Samaritan’s were despised by the Jews as tainted and unclean. The mutual feelings of hate had at various times in history resulted in armed conflict.

The Man cries out: Help me! Please someone help me!

We join Raymond as he sees the man: Here we have yet another victim of crime in the street. Notice the bruised head and shoulders. That indicates the use of a club in the crime. Clothes are torn and shredded. Obviously this man struggled for his very life with his attackers.

Man: Help.

Many have warned that there is no security on these roads. Thieves and robbers do what they want!!!

Man: Um … Help?

And who will help this poor unfortunate victim? While no one is quite certain where he got his cell phone, it will be two thousand years before a cell signal would be installed by US Cellular. He may die by the side of the road if no one helps him.

Man: Water? (At this point, the priest enters. He walks past Raymond and the injured man).

Excuse me. I couldn’t help but notice that you walked right by this person needing help.

Priest: He might be dead! If I touched him, I would be unclean. I couldn’t perform my duties as a priest. I have a duty to my congregation, you know.

Man: (passes out on the roadside. Priest and Raymond walk away from man).

Yes, of course. And what is your opinion of the state of roads in this area?

(Levite enters, walks all the way around man and joins Priest and Raymond).

Priest: Why, it’s deplorable! Look at this man. Probably has a wife and children. And he may die here by the side of the road.

Levite: Yes, disgusting, isn’t it?

(Samaritan enters. Sees man and walks over to help him).

Priest: I blame the government.

And you, sir, why wouldn’t YOU help the man?

Levite: I’m a Levite. We care for the Temple. Helping people isn’t in our contract. Temple work only, that’s me!

(The Samaritan gives the man water; although no one is quite certain where he got the bottle of Dasani. The Samaritan takes the man to the inn; paying 2 silver pieces; enough care for two weeks).

You believe a special group should be helping people?

Priest: Yes, an excellent idea.

Levite: I agree. Committees, churches, government; that’s who should be helping.

What about the command to help our neighbor?

Priest: That man isn’t our neighbor. I’ve never seen him before.

Levite: That’s right. He’s a stranger. In fact, he isn’t even here anymore. He must have been fine.

Priest: I guess he wasn’t as bad off as we thought.

Well, I guess that wraps it up here. Gentleman, while no one is quite certain where you get your definition of neighbor, we thank you for your input.

Priest and Levite: Only too glad to help : )!!!

What does the story of the Good Samaritan tell us about love for our neighbor? Who is your neighbor? What are some ways you can begin showing love to them?

(Audience Q&A)

What Book of the Bible is this story from? (Luke 10:25-37)

What types of people do you find easy to love; difficult to love?

What are some ways that people show their love towards others?

Do you have to help everyone? IS EVERYONE your neighbor?

When you feel loved, what is it that makes you feel loved?

What is your preferred way of showing love to others?

How often do you demonstrate your love to those who are important to you?

Do we need to love Satan? (No; rebuke the devil is in my daily to do list).

(Audience Q&A)

Handout > How neighborly are you? I have a test for each of your family. Take this home.

(Audience Q&A) Take It Spiritual

• Scriptures tell us that others will know that we are Christians by our love. We are told to love not only those people we can get along with, but to also love our enemies. (Matthew 5:43-46)

• We are told that when we love and take care of others it is the same as if we had done it for Christ. (Matthew 25:31-46)

• John 15:13 tells us that the greatest love is to lay down our lives for our friends. Are you willing to spend your life, a little each day to love your friends into the kingdom of God?

• What does Colossians 3:12-14 teach us about love?

• What does James 2:1-8 teach us about love for our neighbor?

• What was Christ’s teaching concerning love for your neighbor?
(Mark 12:28-31)

What’s the point of the Good Samaritan? One thing is certain, as Mr. Rogers says,

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?…

It’s a neighborly day in this beauty wood,
A neighborly day for a beauty.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?…

I’ve always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.
I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

So, let’s make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we’re together we might as well say:
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor?
Won’t you please,
Won’t you please?
Please won’t you be my neighbor?

I will prayer for you before we end. Fold your hands, bow your head, close your eyes.

-Help the students, teachers, I commit to one practical way that love can be shown to someone who is a “neighbor”.
-Strength to be encouraging

Calmly, quietly, wait for your teacher to direct you back to class.

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