“Compassion means recognizing first and foremost the humanity of an individual, and seeing them as created in the image of God.”
Jason Cook delivered a message at TGC’s 2018 Carolinas Regional Conference titled “I Am Your Neighbor,” as a part of their series “Equipped for Every Good.” Teaching from Luke 10, Cook addressed the nature of discipleship, particularly as it pertains to engaging culture as people who love both God and neighbor. Cook added the caveat that what we often consider to be neighbor love may not actually reflect what it means to love others as ourselves.
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Jason Cook: Now where I’m from, we talk to one another. Preaching is not a monologue, but a dialogue. And so this afternoon if you got a amen in you, that’s good. If you got a that’s good in you, that’s good. Well, for some of my Presbyterian brothers, if you want to just say the internal mm-hmm (affirmative) of your heart audibly, that would also be good. If you have your copy of God’s word, would you meet me in Luke chapter 10? And as you turn to Luke chapter 10, let me first begin by saying to pastor Brown, and he’s Cooper Baptist Church, thank you for so graciously hosting us this week. Also to Van in his efforts in organizing and the incomparable Janine, who, if you didn’t know, this whole place would fall apart without her. So thank you too, for your work, and putting this on.
Luke chapter 10. We’re going to be looking at a very familiar passage of scripture this afternoon. Beginning in verse 25, we’ll read through verse 37. When you get there say, Oh, yeah.
Group: Oh, yeah.
Jason Cook: If you need a minute, say, hold up brother. Fantastic. Verse 25, reads, “And behold, the lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ And he said to him, ‘What is written in the law? How do you read it?’ And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have answered correctly do this, and you will live.’ But he, desiring to justify himself said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead.'”
“Now, by chance, a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise, a levite. When he came to the place and saw him pass by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.'” Somebody say compassion.
Jason Cook: “He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine, then he set them on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day, he took out to denari and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him. And whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ ‘Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ And Jesus said, ‘You go and do likewise.'” This is the word of the Lord. This afternoon, I’d like to preach a sermon entitled, I am your neighbor. And before considering God’s word we should pray. Would you pray with me?
Father in heaven, we have no leg to stand on, no footing and no confidence before your throne save that of Jesus. And ancient of days, we are without help in this moment, as we arrive at your word, if it is not by the power of your spirit to make it plain to us. So Spirit of God, you are the one who has written the words on these pages. Would you be our guide and our interpreter this afternoon? We love you so much. It’s in your name we pray, amen. Amen.
I was on my hands and knees cleaning Ray’s toilet when I realized something incredibly profound. Ray was a member of a house church that my wife and I started when we first got married. And Ray was a sweet and gentle soul whose mind unfortunately had melted due to decades worth of illicit drug use. In short, he hit [veins] hard. Even donning long blonde hair, piercings and tattoos to go along with his choice of metal bands. When I met Ray he was homeless, jobless and without hope. And he began to attend our church and in an attempt to reach a man who I had very little in common with or so I thought our conversation centered on Whitesnake, deaf Leopard, poison, quiet riot and kiss. And I know most of y’all too holy to say audibly out loud, but I know what y’all were doing in the 80s. Ray and I were friends.
And then he asked me, if I would help him clean his apartment. I consented, I bought supplies. I spin around $100 of my own money, which, at the time I was in seminary, it’s $100, I didn’t have. Floors, sinks, living rooms and in his bedroom, bedbugs. And I’ll never forget pulling up to the section eight high rise where he lived and being greeted by prostitutes on the way out. And I rode the elevator to the top and when I walked into his apartment, I was hit in the face by a smell that I’ve not smelled before. His floors were covered with what looked like liters of soda that had spilled and dried. There were roaches on his counters and dishes piled up in the sink. I opened his refrigerator and black mold hit me in the face. I walk in his living room and there’s human excrement in the living room. I walk in the bathroom, there’s human excrement across the bathroom and in his bed are bedbugs.
And so there I am, on my hands and knees, scrubbing human excrement from this man’s bathroom, and I found myself frustrated. And I said to myself, “I’m a pastor, why am I doing this? Why didn’t I just get another church member? Someone who didn’t have people to see someone who didn’t have people to counsel someone who didn’t have a sermon to write. Why am I the one here?” But it was there that I realized something profound, and that was that, Ray was a human being. Now that may not seem profound, but up until that point, Ray was the homeless guy, Ray was the dirty guy, Ray was the guy without teeth. Ray was the guy who lived in section eight. Ray, He was the guy in our church that demanded resources from us, he was not human.
But I realized there that he was and I was reminded in that moment that if even Christ washed feet, there’s very little that I can say no to. This morning or this afternoon rather, I want to tell you about how Ray taught me that he is my neighbor. We arrive in Luke 10 after a series of passages concerning the true nature of discipleship. Jesus sends out the 72, fulfilling the prayer for the laborers previously prayed in the previous pericope. And in that harvest, the 72 returned both staying of their dominance over the spiritual forces of the age. And rather than pats on the back and words of accolade, Jesus greets them with rebuke. For they have found the light in the wrong things. And they’ve been enamored in their spiritual power, but should have been more concerned about the great success that souls have been saved.
It is in that light that Jesus here and Luke 10:25 through 37 is addressing the true nature of discipleship. And in our conversation this week, about being equipped for every good work, particularly in engaging culture. It is clear that yes, the gospel is paramount. But I would like to argue that it’s in our pursuit of the gospel and gospel centered ministry that we find both obstacle and opportunity for the faithful witnessing to our neighbor. Now that might seem antithetical to the previous sermons we’ve heard to. Talks to sermons that have been founded in the efficacy and the power of the word of God. I wonder, however, if our pursuit in that way, though a noble one and a right one and an ultimate one, only through a particular lens can disqualify us from effect of ministry to the culture.
Now, in order to do that I want to stay true to Jesus’ way that he’s arranged these passages by looking at the nature of a disciple. And a disciple, as we’ll see both here, and in the previous passages, is one who loves God and their neighbor. I think it’s interesting, and a bit frustrating that Jesus never answers a question how you’d expect him to. Here is this lawyer coming and asking him a question. “How shall I inherit eternal life?” It is a good question, it is an ultimate question and what does Jesus give him? He asks him, “What is written in the law?” And what does this lawyer reply with? He replies with the great commandment. A mashing, a smashing of Deuteronomy six and Leviticus 19:6 together, and it’s too often that abbreviated to love God and love neighbor, though that is concisely what it is.
But what the lawyer communicates is, the very essence of discipleship in that, we have a horizontal responsibility to one another in a vertical relationship with God. And there in the crosshairs of the vertical relationship with God and a horizontal relationship with one another do we find faithful Christian discipleship. But there’s a question central to this pericope and that is, what is love? Or rather how is love? You see, I think far too often we define loving a neighbor, as loving another person as much as we love ourselves, which is a lot of love. Considering that Luther himself labeled most human beings in [inaudible] say as navel gazers. That we ourselves spend most of our time preoccupied with our own self interest, our own self infatuation, our own self concern, that’s a lot of love.
But when we consider what it means to love a neighbor, I don’t believe it’s written for us to love someone as much as we love ourselves, but rather, to love someone in the way that we would love ourselves. The core here is to behave toward the other with the same consideration and concern, that one naturally and properly under most circumstances, shows about one’s own welfare. This lawyer, this scribe, has answered correctly. But then, and I like this word, to justify himself. I often read the Bible and sometimes I wonder why the particular employment or deployment of certain words? Why justify? It appears that behind the scribes question is another question. The question is not only how can I inherit eternal life? But the question is, who is my neighbor?
And so he asks another question. But behind that question, ultimately is am I righteous in whom I’ve shown love to? To justify himself. As a black man, I grew up believing that Jesus was black with good hair, good skin and good eyes. That the biblical characters were created and made in my own image and in that vein, by crafting and shaping those in the Bible, after my own image, I lost much of the power in the ethnic interaction between biblical characters. Jesus, a Jew, talking to another Jew about eternal life, and who was my neighbor? And this question, to justify himself who is my neighbor? One might imply, based off of the internal evidence of this passage, that this man has a very particular and a very narrow view of whom constitutes as his neighbor.
This Jew may have had in his mind the hated enemy, the Gentiles. Growing up in the south, I’m in a football family, I played college football in the NFL. My little brother played college football at the University of South Carolina Go Cocks. And he’s now currently with the Oakland Raiders. We come from a football family. And there are rivalries especially when you grow up in the state, Alabama, where every year rivalries ultimately get people killed. And that’s both figuratively and literally. Rivalries that I’m remembering as a child watching Tom and Jerry, rivalries. I remember watching Serena and Venus play early on when Venus was the better athlete and seeing her sister prevail for the first time, sibling rivalry. But when we think Jew and Gentile, this is no garden variety rivalry. This is hatred. And it is hatred par [inaudible].
Before one group, ethnically is seen as dogs and unclean, and yet the ones belonging to this lawyer, Jews are the ones who’ve been given the word of God and claim ethnic privilege. This lawyer, he’s driven, I think, to follow the letter of the law so that he might obey perfectly, following the prescription of the law so that he might be righteous. And not just righteous in Christ’s eyes, but righteous in his own eyes, desiring to justify himself. The only problem here in this thinking is that, while the letter of the law prescribes behavioral limits, and on the surface governs the relationship between God and God’s people, it’s the spirit of the law that takes the idea of faithfulness and obedience further. By governing not only purity of action, but also purity of heart, motive.
It almost seems that he wants to be completely sure that his neighbor does not include the unseeming the nasty breed of the other, the Gentile. Why? So that he might be justified in his external action, but his heart, his motivation, is in the wrong place. Consider the Sermon on the Mount, the quintessential exposition of Christ. And he takes the burden of the law and makes it even more burdensome. The Pharisees believed that you could be eaten up with lust so long as you didn’t commit adultery, and you could preserve your righteousness. Jesus takes that and he makes adultery, no longer an act, but even the very thought of it. Some believe that you could desire a man’s wife or his possessions, but as long as you did not act in your desire, you could preserve your righteousness. But now, coveting is no longer an act, but even the motivation in the thought of it, likewise, with murder.
You could secretly burn with hate and despise another human being. But without physically taking a life you could uphold the law. And if I’m honest, on my way over here today being cut off by folks in South Carolina, did they know driving behinds. In my mind, I officiated several funerals. But hatred again, Jesus takes the burden of a law he makes it more burdensome. And now murder is not only the action of shedding blood, but the motivation. Jesus relocates the goalposts of faithfulness, beyond only the letter of the law, in obedience to the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law. In short, Jesus didn’t only want this lawyer’s obedience, he wanted his heart. And it’s in that way, we see that the lawyer is far off from the ethic of Christ.
Because after all, a true disciple has two primary loves, God and his neighbor. To love God with tongue and your feet with words of proclamation and your actions, to adore him in our prayers, in our praises, in our public confessions, in our orthodoxy, in our singing and exaltation, but also to love our neighbor. And there, in the crosshairs of that vertical and horizontal do we find the essence of the Christian life. So this lawyer’s question, “Who is my neighbor?” It seems to desire to circumvent the hard work to truly be a disciple of Jesus, by limiting the category of whom his neighbor is. Friends, we are right to preach the Great Commission, we should. But we must not do so at the exclusion of the great commandment. And it’s in that vein, well, part of my frustration with Jesus lies, I get frustrated with Jesus sometimes. I’m a pastor, yes, said it, I get frustrated.
Because if I’m coming to Jesus, Jesus all I need, I just need a straight answer from you, bro. Like, I just need you to answer a question that I posed. I brought you a good question, can you please just answer it? And what does Jesus do? He answers the question with a parable. And it’s this aspect of Jesus’s ministry that’s both befuddling and profound. And it’s here that Jesus I think, gets to the heart of the lawyer self justification. And we see that religious folk are an at risk group.
Jesus begins to recount the tale of a man who left Jerusalem to go down to Jericho and to go down was literal. About 3000 feet difference in elevation and that road was fraught with peril, it was treacherous. It was dangerous at every turn and it was a favorite spot for stick up kids, strong armors and thieves. It would be the part of town that you’re living in. Whether Durham or Greenville or Charleston or Columbus, that you might call sketchy. Which if we’re being honest, sketchy is a term that refers to not only places that are unsafe, but places that are filled with black and brown people and are different in the places we live. And on this road, there’s a man who gets jumped by robbers and by chance, a priest is on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
A priests. Now if I’m this man lying on the road, this is my lucky day. I’ve just gotten jumped. And now I got a holy man that’s on his way down. And this priest is not only a man who loves God, but the very nature job description of a priest is one who helps the people of God worship God. This man vocationally is charged with aiding God’s people in their worship of God. So not only is this horizontal axis right in his vocation, but also his affections for neighbor all right. Deuteronomy 6, Leviticus 19:6 smashed together in the personification of this holy man and what does he do? He passes by on the other side. There is within the law a ceremonial stipulation, that you cannot come near a dead body, lest you be render ceremonially unclean. Why did the priests hop out to the other side? That’s what we’re to imply.
He sees a man beaten nearly half dead, probably not moving much. He sees that he’s dead, and rather than going to help him, he sees the man on the road as a problem. Rather than seeing aiding this person as part of his Christian discipleship, he sees aiding this person as hindering his Christian discipleship. Does he not have time? Does he lack desire? We don’t know. But what we do know is that Jesus upholds this man as a failure of Christian discipleship. The vertical seems to be there, but the horizontal actions preach a different tale about his faithfulness, his obedience. This priest, his obedience to the law, trumped loving his neighbor in the manner in which he’d want to be loved.
And if you could hear, the words of this man lying on the road, watching as this priest passes by, on the other side, what you might hear him say in a weak voice is, “I am your neighbor.” But it’s my lucky day. Because not only does a priest come by, but now right behind him, a Levi comes by. Two holy men, two men with the relationship both in the vertical and the horizontal, where in the crosshairs lies Christian discipleship and yet this Levite does the same. He passes by on other side. He hits the gas and motors on by. Why does he not stop? Well, therefore, to take Jesus’ intentional inclusion of the vocations of these men, both priests and Levites, we assume they’re Jewish, which meant that they both would be very well versed in the law, which they would have read that the law would have prevented them in ways of helping this man. We don’t know exactly why, but what we do know is that both the priest and the Levi’s failed the most basic test of Christian discipleship, compassion.
There is in these two men a gap between theological fidelity and faithful cardiological witness. There is a gap between their orthopraxy and their orthodoxy. This is the appearance of godliness with no power. It’s the very thing that these two distinguished men have just so elaborately pointed out to us. When it comes to religious folk, there is often the sacrificing of compassion for pragmatism. And there is often the even unwilling or unknowingly, dehumanization of people because they don’t fit in our category of who is our neighbor. And so here’s this Levi, walking by the road and then hopping by on the other side, and I’m the man lying on the road and I see this second religious person coming by. If you could hear me talk in a weak voice, what you might hear me say is, I am your neighbor, compassion.
Both these religious men lack compassion. What is compassion? Compassion is sympathetic pity and concern for the suffering and misfortunes of others. In Matthew 19, or 9:36, when Jesus sees a throng of people like sheep without a shepherd, he’s moved deep within himself his bowels. Now, as a kid, I used to think that Jesus had just taken a laxative. That was before I understood that in ancient Near East the affections the seat of the affections was in the gut. His compassion was empathic. It was commiserated, there was identification with the suffering by him going to the suffering and how much more can you identify with the suffering of people than becoming yourself the man of sorrows.
Compassion means recognizing first and foremost, the humanity of an individual, and seeing them as created in the image of God. The very thing I failed to do in my own relationship with Ray. It means that quote unquote, problem people are seeing not as issues to be addressed, problems to solve, nuisances to get rid of, or projects to be fixed, but people to serve. And as pastors how dare we teach our people about Christian discipleship and we failed the most basic test compassion.
Now, let me say again, when we read the scriptures, it’s easy to find our own ethnic makeup in the Bible. That Yes, my grandmother used to have a picture of black Jesus on the mantel. And I used to imagine that Samson was a nine foot tall black dude yoked up with wigs all the way down his back. Wigs are another term for dreads. Y’all have to excuse me, I’m used to using certain colloquialisms with my congregation. And being the only black man in this room, I got a cold switch. Y’all know what that is? Y’all know what cold switching is? Yeah. Which means that you have to alter and adjust your language to meet dominant cultural language norms where they are, so excuse me if I throw in a bit of a cultural colloquialism.
But when I started hanging out with white people, I started going to their houses and in their houses, they have pictures of white Jesus. I was confused. Is Jesus polymorphic? Is there a duality? I know he’s the Trinity, but is he multiple ethnicities? That’s a funny way of saying that it’s important to notice the ethnic backgrounds of the people here in the text. But if we were to look at this text spiritually, through a spiritual lens, the gospel means if this works. Then there is one undeniable truth about this passage that is my story and it is yours, that spiritually you and I are the dead man or woman lying on the road. And in the work of Jesus Christ, we find compassion that transcends ethnic and racial boundaries.
The identification of the Samaritan here is not a mistake. It is logical to conclude that a stark contrast between the Jew of Jesus, the Jewishness of this priest, the Jewishness of this levite, it’s logical to conclude the man lying dead in the road is Jewish himself and then incomes a Samaritan. And I like this, because Jesus intentionally upholds the hero of this story as a dirty dog, as a halfbreed. One who worships on Mount Gerizim and ostensibly does not worship on the Temple Mount, which means they don’t worship God. And this unlikely hero was the one who stopped and actually had compassion, who helped his neighbor out. And my friends, if you could hear the words of this Samaritan, as he spoke to the man lying on the road. What you might hear the Samaritan say to this man line half dead is, “You are my neighbor.”
It is the answer to the question that the lawyer asks. It is the answer to the question any of us asked is, who is my neighbor? Now, before we answer that question, we’ve got to talk about church lady casseroles. You see in a black church, if you ever go to a funeral, there’s an occurrence that happens upon the conclusion of the Homegoing services because that’s what we call funerals ongoing. It’s called a repast. At the repast you have a smorgasbord of food. All these little church ladies are cooking all sorts of stuff, it’s a feast. Meant to comfort the family and be a time of exchanging stories about the recently deceased.
But y’all, when I started hanging out with white people, these little church ladies make these breakfast casseroles. It’s got like the sausage and the egg and the cream cheese in them. And then they make the hash brown joints. Like I’ve never had church lady casserole like white church lady casserole. And here’s why I say that, because there is something when it comes to Christian love, that is embodied in a church lady casserole. It is embodied, it is the time spent, it’s the care given, it’s the thought given, it’s the thought behind and it is the ultimate delicacy and delight and pastor Philips a means of the Lord’s grace to my soul when I ingest the church lady casserole.
When we think about Christian love and what it means, yes, it does mean a church lady casserole in some ways. Yes, it means coming to a person and loving them. It might mean financial provision, it might mean time. But when I look and think about what compassion and love are in this parable, I see a love in the Samaritan that costs him his time. It costs him his money. If in fact the man on the road is Jewish it may have cost him has reputation. In short, what the Samaritan does to this man in need is costly. When we talk about being equipped for every good work to engage the culture, my friends, have we considered the cost?
Ingaging the culture particularly in issues on race and justice. If we are to do it, using models and biblical principles will not enable us to sit in comfort. Nor will we be able to do it at arm’s length or at little costs. It will be costly. This is a picture of love. And not just any sort of love. It is the shalom filled, holistic love. This man goes to him. He pours oil or wine on his wounds to disinfect them, or oil on his wounds to sue them. Binds him up, picks him up and put them on his own animal, takes them to an inn, and once giving their shells out his own dollars to care for this man, this man’s care is holistic. He’s not hitting them with drive by Bible verses. He didn’t walk by the man and say, “Well you know what, it’s your own fault because you shouldn’t have been walking down from Jerusalem to Jericho by yourself. Hey, it’s your own fault because you, your own personal responsibility, you’re responsible for your plight in this world.”
This man did not walk by him and blame shift or say that somehow that man lying half dead in the Road was responsible for his plight. No, he goes to him, he binds up his wounds and he cares for him. That’s love. This is shalom. And what I love more is that he walks with him until he’s well. And when I think about this passage, friends, I can’t help but to see that I was the man lying dead on the road. And a man, Jesus, a Jewish man gazed upon my helpless estate and cared for me. He didn’t pass by on the other side, he came to me that this brown skinned Middle Eastern man picked me up and attended my wounds. And I’m reminded of those words in Micah 6:8. “He has told you a man what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with God.”
And it is Christ who is the one who does justice and who loves mercy, and walks humbly with our God. You want to talk about injustice. The injustice of the cross is that he would look upon me and objects of wrath and transform me into an object of love. That I an enemy of the cross might be welcomed into the family of God with open arms. Adopted and grafted into the family of God not with half benefits or half access, but with full access. Why? Because there was one who took my place that is unjust. Jesus is the one who picked us up from the miry clay. Who rescues us from destruction, who is both just and justifier. And in my cries for mercy, in my distress and in my wandering moments, my soul continues to cry out to Jesus, I am your neighbor, and Jesus answers, “Yes, you are.”
If we, my friends, are to show the world a better way, then our love our care, our compassion will cost us for more than we ever think. If we are to show the world a better way, a reconciled way, it will require of us
to see and view the image of God and the humanity in our neighbor. What we do not simply throw and drive by Bible verses but we hop down into the mess. And we walk with our brothers and sisters. And now finally, in a day that we live in, that offers dime answers from million dollar questions. And everyone has an idea of how to fix all of the ills of the culture from theological liberalism, to gender debates, to race and identity questions to unbelief, the thing we need most in a conversation on race, ethnicity, injustice in our time is compassion. And perhaps, you and your congregants have often wonder what the next move is. It’s always interesting to me that my friends in [dominant] culture, who have grown up in great schools, who have advanced degrees somehow become remedial when it comes to remedying these questions about race and ethnicity in our culture.
I would submit to you that the answer that you may be seeking in part is found in Jesus’ final words in verse 37. Jesus says to this lawyer, after he’s rightly confessed, that the one who showed mercy is the one who proves to be a disciple. Not the one with an advanced degree, not the one with networking, not the one who knows people, not the one who seems to have a monopoly on the efficacy and theological fidelity of the gospel. He says the one who proves to be a disciple is the one who shows mercy. But notice also what Jesus does not do. He does not berate him. He is not beat him over the head with a Bible. He does not issue wrote condemnation. He does not shame him, or guilt him. He simply tells him to go and do likewise.
I love this. Jesus shows compassion, to even the man who didn’t want to show compassion. He shows compassion, even to the legalist. And legalism, essentially, at its core is trying to practice religion apart from Jesus. Seeking to justify oneself by our own actions rather than those of Jesus Christ. And Christ enters into this man’s legalism and he loves him, go and do likewise. I find strength here. When I fail to show compassion to my neighbor, Jesus reminds me of his ethic. And he doesn’t shame me or guilt me, he says, “Go and do likewise.” But I want to remind us, friends as I’m getting ready to finish and that’s, let me just say, as a black preacher, if I say I’m about done or I’m about to take my seat, that’s dog whistle for I got 30 more minutes, but I’m really, I’m really almost finished. I understand my context and where we are, so I’m really about to wind this down.
But I often wonder if sometimes we try to plan our compassion. You see the priests just happen to be coming by. The levite just happens to be coming by. And yet he said, show compassion to our neighbor and being a true disciple of Jesus is to love our neighbor. But I’ve yet to answer the question of who is my neighbor? And the answer to that question is anyone in need? When I think back to those days and those moments of cleaning Ray’s toilet. I think about the innate embarrassment that I felt, the perceived loss of reputation, the loss of capital and revenue. The potential physical harm of mold and excrement that was incurred upon me. And I finally began to realize just how much loving someone who doesn’t look like me will cost. Ray was a hard party and hard charging white dude who loved hair metal. I was born and raised in cities of Birmingham and Atlanta. With a family who was raised during the Civil Rights Movement and before and our past should not have crossed, he did not look like me, we did not think alike.
But loving him meant, that even though it was inconvenient, and although it costs me more than I ever thought it would, he was in need. And when you are seeking to love someone as Christ has loved us, bringing for whole shalom to us, there are few limits concerning what you will do so that your neighbor might be whole.