Paragraphs 80 through 83 fall under the title of “Neighbors without borders.” We know Jesus was in conversation about the greatest commandment. When urged to love neighbor as self, the Lord is questioned. The answer might bother us today, but it was likely even more shocking for most of the ancients:
80. Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan in answer to the question: Who is my neighbor? The word “neighbor”, in the society of Jesus’ time, usually meant those nearest us. It was felt that help should be given primarily to those of one’s own group and race. For some Jews of that time, Samaritans were looked down upon, considered impure. They were not among those to be helped. Jesus, himself a Jew, completely transforms this approach. He asks us not to decide who is close enough to be our neighbor, but rather that we ourselves become neighbors to all.
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