but who is my neighbor

Getting Started

The first four books of the Bible’s New Testament are known as the Gospels. The word “gospel” means “good news.” All four of these Gospel books focus their attention on the life of Jesus Christ. The third Gospel is written by the apostle Luke.

In the third Gospel, Luke presented the following story about how we get to heaven:

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” He replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Luke 10:25–29 NIV

During His life on earth, Jesus was approached with many questions. The aforementioned question focuses on how we get to heaven. When Jesus’s immediate response was to ask the questioner what he already knew from the scriptures, the individual’s response proved that he was very familiar with scripture. He quoted, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It makes sense that he can quote scripture, because he is described as an “expert in the law.” In this time period, a law expert would have been well educated, literate, and very familiar with Old Testament scripture.

The response of the “expert in the law” was so good that Jesus gave him a compliment, stating, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.” This should have been enough to send the questioner on his way; after all, he already had the right answer. But, instead, he asked a follow-up question: “And who is my neighbor?”

It is one thing to say that we love others; however, it is another matter altogether when we take the time to define who the “others” are whom we will love. This exercise truly reveals our heart. When we say we love “others,” we may be saying we love “others” who are just like us. The big question here is, “Who is beyond the boundaries of my love?”

Begin your journey through this workshop by asking yourself, “Who is my neighbor?” Then seek to expand the current boundaries of your love to include more neighbors.

Upon successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate Christ-like attitudes, values, and worldviews and ethical and professional behavior within advanced clinical practice. (PO 1)

Resources

  • Bible

Instructions

  1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
  2. Read aloud Luke 10:25–37 from your Bible.
  3. In an APA formatted paper, write a one-paragraph response to each of the following prompts:
    1. How does the presence of genuine love impact the way we conduct our professional lives?
    2. Are there currently boundaries concerning those whom you are willing to love? How can you expand them?
    3. In what ways do you see the practice of love and loving informing your social work practice.
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