Then a teacher of the law came and began putting Jesus to the test. And he said, “Master, what shall I do to receive eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What is written in the law? How do you understand it?” The man answered, “It is written: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus replied, “What a good answer! Do this and you shall live.” The man wanted to justify his question, so he asked, “Who is my neighbor?”
Jesus then said, “There was a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him and went off, leaving him half-dead.
It happened that a priest was going along that road and saw the man, but passed by on the other side.
Likewise a Levite saw the man, and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan also was going that way; and when he came upon the man, he was moved with compassion. He went over to him, and cleaned his wounds with oil and wine, and wrapped them in bandages. Then he put him on his own mount, and brought him to an inn, where he took care of him.
The next day, he had to set off; but he gave two silver coins to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him, and whatever you spend on him, I will repay when I return.’”
Jesus then asked, “Which of these three, do you think, made himself neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The teacher of the law answered, “The one who had mercy on him.” And Jesus said, “Then go and do the same.”
It is easier to memorize the laws and precepts that would lead to a good life. If you possess a better than average intelligence, committing them to memory would be a breeze. But their actual application to life is something else. It is not only the brain that is involved here. The heart and soul must follow what has been recognized by the head. They too must give their own inputs to make the concepts operational. This is the area which we find most difficult. Concepts are easy to wrestle with; how to act on them is not. And so we are like the young man of the Gospel asking the Lord to show us the way. Jesus was not called Teacher for nothing. He teaches us the correct application of the things we learned from Him.
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