The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
'He is One and there is no other than he.'
And 'to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself'
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."Mark 12:30-33
Jesus responded that this scribe was "not far from the Reign of God" because he got it and it was simple. Religious practice while necessary is not sufficient for one to be a true disciple of Jesus. One must love others as one loves one's self.
One of the important and unique insights of Jesus was that this injunction to love was not restricted to one's neighbor narrowly construed. It is still easy for us to "love" those who are like us, who are members of our group. Jesus asks us to stretch our notion of neighbor to include everyone and to exclude no one. Typically when we think about the concept of neighbor, we are trying to include some groups and thus exclude others. The message of Jesus is that no one is to be excluded from the Reign of God except by their own choice.
So who is my neighbor? Who is deserving of my love and concern? The victims of child abuse and those who abuse them. Innocent victims of violence and those who inflict that violence. Those addicted to drugs or alcohol and those who enable them. Those who are discriminated against and those who discriminate. Those who are poor and those who impoverish them.
There is no end to those whom I am to love.
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Location:Charissa Run,Rochester,United States