Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Neighbour from Hell

Last night flicking through the endless channels on my Sky box I stopped briefly on the show "New Neighbours from Hell." The essence of the show is entering the lives of people who have had the unfortunate disaster of moving into a house and finding out their neighbours are a total disaster, turning their lives into a nightmare.

Today I read about a conversation between Jesus and "Expert in the (Jewish) Law". (Luke 10 v 25 - 37) This guy knew the Old Testament. He understood it and was able to sum it up in a few brief words. Love God and Love your neighbour. He got it but wanted to limit it in his own life. (So often we do the exact same thing). So he decided to split hair over who was his neighbour.

Jesus does not beat about the bush and he tells a story about a guy who is beaten up and left for dead by the side of the road. His own people go past and ignore, a religious guy goes past and looks the other way. Then Jesus sticks the knife in. The guy that stops to help was a Samaritan. Suffice to say the Jews hated the Samaritans. Jesus picked the extreme example to suggest who was a neighbour. Nothing natural would make a Samaritan stop and help a Jew. But that's where Jesus went in the answer to the question.

Who is the neighbour I should love. The neighbour from hell!


Anonymous said...

Very easy to say,but try "Loving" your neighbours when they play ear-splittingly loud music day and night,allow their dogs to defecate in your garden,push excrement through your letter-box,let their children throw stones at you or vandalise your car,and generally terrorise you until you are forced to leave the area because the police are unwilling or unable to do anything about it - here in England there was a recent story about a disabled woman and her daughter(who also had learning difficulties)WHO WERE BULLIED AND INTIMIDATED SO MUCH BY THEIR NEIGHBOURS that they ended up committing suicide together.
Also, you say the Jews "Hated the Samaritans"... and nothing "natural"-whatever that's supposed to mean,would make a Samaritan stop to help a Jew - says who? Were you there 2,000 years ago? No,you weren't. That is a horrendous generalisation - it's like saying all the Israelis hate the Palestinians - many,many Israelis have protested about the expansion of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land,not just outside activists or Palestinians themselves.What right have you to say one complete race "suffice to say" hates another group of people.Cloud cuckoo land,my friend,is where you dwell.

P.S.The story of the good Samaritan is a good one,and I have a Christian upbringing myself and believe in God..Jesus Christ looms large in my life and beliefs,but I think you do youself an injustice with these generalisations and lightweight ideas.

Billy Ritchie said...

Yup the story is a good one but it becomes hard when we have to apply it to real life. Although I certainly wouldn't want to say that every Jew hated every Samaritan it is well recorded that there was great tension between the two races. Jesus was making it quite clear that loving your neigbour included loving people not like yourself even people you saw as an enemy.

Anonymous said...

"Suffice to say the Jews Hated the Samaritans"..your words,not mine..not in the Bible either.

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