“Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”
Not just best friends, or close friends, or likeable friends, but anyone. That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out.
In Luke 10:29, the expert in the law wanted to “justify himself”, and so he asked Jesus “who is my neighbour”?
He knew what the second commandment (Matt 22/Mark 12) said – love your neighbour as yourself. And one might think that he was clarifying it with Jesus.
But the problem here was that the expert was trying to turn love into an item on a to-do list. He wasn’t looking to serve others. He wanted to define love, to delineate the boundaries of his obligation, to know the exact people he had to love and how much love he had to give, so that he could do it, then proudly tick off “Loving Others” on his list of Holy Things To Do.
That’s not how love works. 1 John 4:19 tells us that we love, because God FIRST loved us. And God’s love know no boundaries, it forgives all and in doing so redeems all. You can’t “finish” loving others.
It seems daunting for us to have to love like that, maybe even impossible, and that’s because it IS impossible without God. God isn’t a genie, and we can’t wish for Him to grant us the ability to pour out infinite love, then head out and love unconditionally on our own. We are swiftly wrung dry.
God is a power socket, and we are an iPhone charger. He is the vine, we are the branches. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. But when we receive His love, when we’re plugged in and fully reliant on Him, then His love can flow through us and into the lives of others.