In my New Testament for Ministry class yesterday the professor shared some key points about this well-known parable I had never noticed before and a powerful application. You can read the parable in Luke 10:25-37 here.
The lawyer asks, “Who is my neighbor?” Basically implying that he wants to know the minimum requirement involved in loving one’s neighbor. But after we read the parable, we see Jesus has changed the question completely. It’s not “Who is my neighbor?” but rather, “Who can I be a neighbor to?”
Richard Hays speaks of this call to love everyone around us in regards to abortion: “The issue is not whether unborn children are our neighbors, but will we be a neighbor to them?” Hays says, “Jesus, by answering the lawyer’s question with this parable, rejects casuistic attempts to circumscribe our moral concern by defining the other as belonging to a category outside the scope of our obligation.”
Lord have mercy on me, and help me to love everyone as my neighbor. Sweet Father, help us to fervently seek out ways to love across divisive boundaries, including the one of inside/outside the womb.