A group of red eyes envy pastors stood up with a question to test this new Sunday school teacher. He had gain much popularity and reputation in the Rumah Panjai (Longhouse in Borneo) because he teaches teenagers in the village about the Word of God more effectively than they does for the last 15 years.
“Teacher, what do we need to do to get eternal life?”
He answered, “What’s written in Bub Kudus (The Bible)? How do you interpret it?”
The senior pastor stepped out and said, “That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence – and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.”
“Good answer!” said the teacher. “Do it and you’ll live.”
Looking for a loophole, he asked, “And just how would you define ‘neighbor’?”
The teacher answered by telling a story.
“There was once a man driving from Kuching to Lundu by car. On the way, he was hits by another car from the opposite direction. The other driver was panic, get out from his car, and went off leaving the man half-dead. Luckily, a priest was driving his way down the same road, but when he saw him he makes a u-turn to the other side. Then a pastor driving the same way; he also avoided the injured man and carry on his way.
A Malay man traveling the road quickly stopped his car and came to him. When he saw the man’s condition, he had compassion on him. He pulled him out of the car, rescued him and called an ambulance. But when he realized that it will take time for the ambulance to reached, he lifted him on to his car, send him to hospital, and wait for him. After the operation he paid the bills and gave the doctor his name-card, saying, “Take good care of him. I need to go now. If it costs any more, gives me a call – I’ll pay the hospital fee once I get done with my business meeting.’
“What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man who was injured in the car accident?”
“The one who send him to the hospital,” the senior pastor responded.
The teacher said, “Go and do the same.”
The Scriptures writes, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Now, who are your neighbors? Most of us think that our neighbors as the people who live next door. But the Bible teaches us that our neighbor is anyone around us who needs God’s love. My NIV Study Bible defines ‘neighbor’ as anyone with whom one comes in contact. This means that the person next to you in the classroom, or your coworkers, or the beggar and homeless in your area are also your neighbors. Regardless the color of their skin, race or religious background – they all are your neighbors.
Authors of the book Divine Moments: Everyday Inspiration for God’s Word writes, “When you begin to view people you see or meet or even hear about as your neighbors, you see these encounters as divine opportunities, moment to share the love of Jesus by offering a helping hand.”
THINK BIG anyone with whom you come in contact is your neighbors. START SMALL offers a helping hand anyway possible. GO DEEP this is not a suggestion, it’s a commandment: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”