Read Luke 10.
The lawyer we meet in Luke 10:25 wanted to put Jesus to the test, asking, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” But what we quickly learn as readers is that Jesus wasn’t the one being tested. Jesus answered the lawyer’s questions with questions of his own, quickly discovering that this lawyer already knew the answers he was purportedly seeking, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” Not interested in taking “yes” for an answer, the lawyer questions Jesus again, “And who is my neighbor?” This time, Jesus responds with a story, which is now known as the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus’ story concludes with the question, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” Again, Jesus puts the ball in the lawyer’s court, asking what he thinks being a neighbor looks like. The neighbor in the story was, as the lawyer answered, “The one who showed him mercy,” so Jesus instructs him to go and do likewise.
The lawyer’s problem wasn’t that he didn’t understand what Jesus was saying. Twice, Jesus affirms his assessment of the situation. He was seeing things clearly. The lawyer’s problem was the same problem that can befall any of us–he wanted to justify what he was already doing rather than make the changes he knew he needed to make. How can you be a neighbor today? To whom can you show compassion and kindness?