GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
By Keith L. Estes
The article today is by The Rev. Jack W. Carter, A Minister at St. Paul U.M. Church, Largo, Fl. and is used by permission.
In this day of "Road Rage" and many other expressions of disregard for human life, isn't it time for us to consider once again the wisdom of the Commandment, "You shalt love thy neighbor as yourself."
There is a grand story of two brothers that show real concern for each other. "These two brothers worked together on the family farm. One was married and had a large family. The other was single. At the day's end, the brothers shared everything equally, produce and profit.
Then one day the single brother said to himself, "It's not right that we should share equally the produce and the profit. I'm alone and my needs are simple." So each night he took a sack of grain from his bin and crept across the field between their houses, dumping it into his brother's bin.
Meanwhile, the married brother said to himself, "It's not right that we should share the produce and the profit equally. After all, I'm married and I have my wife and children to look after me in years to come. My brother has no one to take care of his future." So each night he took a sack of grain and dumped it into his single brother's bin.
Both men were puzzled for years because their supply of grain never dwindled. Then one dark night the two brothers bumped into each other. Slowly it dawned on them what was happening. They dropped their sacks and embraced one another."
You may say, "It isn't hard to love those who are my family or close friends," But if we are to be followers of Jesus we are called to a higher standard.
"And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise." But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good and lend hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus seeks to make us aware that our neighbor is not just someone who might live near us, but it may be anyone that is in need. If we have the means of doing something to help with that need, then it is our duty to do so.
Year after year more laws are put on the books to govern how we are to deal with others in our society. Many of our laws could be forgotten if we followed the instructions that Paul gives in Romans 13: 8-10 "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the Commandments, "You shall not commit adultery." "You shall not murder," "You shall not bear false witness." "You shall not covet" and if there is any other commandment, all are summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Ref: "Two Brothers" a story from A Second Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield & Mark Hanson. Scripture verses: Mk. 12:31, Lk. 6: 31