Justice and Your Neighbor

Justice and Your Neighbor

Generous Justice, Class #8
From Chapt. 4. Pg. 62-77

This chapter is all on the Good Samaritan Parable, Luke 10:25-37 Keller opens the chapter with some comments on the questioner. He was “testing” Jesus with the “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” question. Being a lawyer and no doubt coming from a salvation by merit background, perhaps the test was to see how textual or stressful about obedience Jesus would be in his answer. Jesus turned the tables on the questioner; “What is written in the law?” When the questioner responded with the summary law statement to love God and neighbor (an impossibly high standard), Jesus said, “Do this.” Recognizing the impossibility of perfectly adhering to that standard, the questioner then asked Jesus to qualify or define terms. As Keller puts it, “Surely you don’t mean that I have to love everyone?” (Pg. 62-66). So Jesus uses the parable to define terms.

Love – to meet the material, physical, and economic needs of others through deeds. (Pg. 67)

Neighbor – Anyone at all in need regardless of race, politics, class, and religion. (pg. 67)

Objections people make to not love neighbor: (Taken from a sermon by Jonathan Edwards).
*They are not destitute (They ask for food, but have a nice tv set) (Pg. 69).
*I have nothing to spare (I would have to do without something and I am not willing to suffer with them). (Pg. 70).
*He is ungrateful or ill-tempered. (Pg. 71).
*He has come to his poverty by his own fault. (Pg. 71).
Keller answers those last two by noting, so were we when Jesus initiated help toward us. (Pg. 72).

Keller quote: “We all want to help kind-hearted, upright people, whose poverty came upon them through no foolishness or contribution of their own, and who will respond to our aid with gratitude and joy. However, almost no one like that exists.” (Pg. 71).

We admit if we were the man in the ditch we would desire the help of the Samaritan. Receiving this neighbor-love from Jesus, we become motivated give it.