Art of Neighboring - Part 1 [Notes]

Love God, love others… they’re the two most important things Jesus commands us to do. But what does it look like to love a neighbor? What if loving our neighbor involves knowing, serving and loving our actual neighbors… the people who live right outside our door.
Today's Takeaway // Loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself includes your actual neighbors.
  • "When Jesus was asked to reduce everything in the Bible to one command he said, Love God with everything you have and love your neighbor as yourself. 

  • What if Jesus meant that we should love our actual neighbors? You know, the people who live right next door. 

  • The problem is that we have turned this simple idea into a nice saying. We put it on bumper stickers and T-shirts and go on with our lives without actually putting it into practice.

  • But the fact is, Jesus has given us a practical plan that we can actually put into practice, a plan that has the potential to change the world. 

  • The reality is, though, that the majority of Christians don’t even know the names of most of their neighbors."
Art of Neighboringpage 15
Loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself includes your actual neighbors.
Luke 10:25-28 (HCSB) says,

  •  Just then an expert in the law stood up to test  Him, saying, “Teacher,  what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 

  • “What is written in the law?” He asked him. “How do you read it?” 

  • He answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.  

  • “You’ve answered correctly,” He told him. “Do this and you will live.” 
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
– Deuteronomy 6:5 (HCSB)
"Do not take revenge  or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am Yahweh."
– Leviticus 19:18 (HCSB)
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?
– Luke 10:29 (HCSB)
Plēsion/Neighbor: a fellow man, any other member of the human family.  
Zodhiates, Spiros. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament.
  • “It is important to note the statement, “he wanted to justify himself.” The man wanted to define this word neighbor in such a way that he could not be found blameworthy. 
  • If his neighbor was someone he could choose, then he’d be okay. By asking Jesus to define the word neighbor, this man was looking for a loophole.” 
  • Think about it: are we also trying to find a loophole in what Jesus said is the most important thing for us to live out?”   
Art of Neighboring, page 33
Luke 10:30-35 (HCSB) says,

  •  Jesus took up the question and said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him up, and fled, leaving him half dead.

  • A priest happened to be going down that road. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

  • In the same way, a Levite, when he arrived at the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

  • But a Samaritan  on his journey came up to him, and when he saw the man, he had compassion.  

  • He went over to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil  and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

  • The next day  he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him. When I come back I’ll reimburse you for whatever extra you spend.’

Luke 10:36-37 (HCSB) says,

  • “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 

  • “The one who showed mercy to him,” he said. Then Jesus told him, “Go and do the same.” 
  • The irony of the story is that the one not considered worthy to be called “neighbor” by Jews was precisely the one who showed himself to be “neighbor” to the victim. 
  • The parable reveals Jesus’ own understanding of “neighbor” and what “love of neighbor” demands. Jesus sets no limitation on who qualifies as the neighbor commanded by God to be loved.
 Elwell, W. A., & Comfort, P. W. (2001). In Tyndale Bible dictionary (p. 945)
Loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself includes your actual neighbors.
“To love someone, it helps to actually know their name.”
Art of Neighboring, page 40

Discussion Questions //

  1. Who is your favorite TV or movie neighbor and why? (i.e. Wilson from Home Improvement, Kimmy Gibler from Full House, etc.)
  2. Read Luke 10:25-37 and share who you most relate to and why – the expert in the law? The priest or Levite? The Good Samaritan? 
  3. Loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself includes your actual neighbors. Unpack the message takeaway and share one or two ways that would like to grow in knowing, serving, and loving your actual neighbors in the days and weeks ahead. (Using the tic-tac-toe board resource might be helpful!)
  4. Pray to close your time. 

Worship Setlist //

House of the Lord / Yes I Will / The Blessing / It is Finished


Devotional //

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