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24 Fri
Following Jesus Closely
[ Luke 10:25 - 10:42 ]
25. On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
26. "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
27. 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.'"
28. "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
29. But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
30. In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.
31. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
32. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
33. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
34. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.
35. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
36. "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
37. The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
38. As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.
39. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.
40. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
41. "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things,
42. but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

Impossibly Important (10:25–37)
The expert in the laws attempt to test Jesus backfires in a spectacular fashion, and he quickly finds himself in the hot seat. After he recites the laws about loving God and our neighbor, Jesus instructs him to simply go and do exactly as the law states. The man is not content with this response and presses for specifics, asking, And who is my neighbor? Jesus then shares one of historys best known illustrations of neighborly love—the parable of the good Samaritan—concluding with a final exhortation that challenges us all: Go and do likewise. Excuses are obliterated, questions are silenced, and only this impossible command remains. How are we to obey it? Only through the grace and power of Jesus.

The Better Way (10:38–42)
In our results-driven world, we often fall into the trap of prioritizing outcomes over processes and people. It is easy to fall prey to this way of thinking, so we need to frequently remind ourselves that people and relationships are more important than money and success. One of the best ways to prioritize relationships over the other things that demand our attention is simply by spending time with people and cultivating intimacy. And the most important relationship in our lives deserves our greatest devotion. We must commit to sitting at the feet of Jesus, learning from Him, loving Him, and being loved by Him. What better way is there for us to spend our precious time and energy?

- Jesus message is clear: loving our neighbors means loving our enemies, too. What does that look like in your life? How can you go out of your way to love your neighbors well?

- How have you let your preoccupation with other demands distract you from cultivating your relationship with Jesus? What are some practical ways you can turn away from those distractions to follow Him more intimately?

A Letter to
God of grace, I praise Your perfect holiness. You call me to holiness yet I find myself falling woefully short because of my sin. Thank you that because of Jesus and by the Holy Spirits help, I am made acceptable in Your sight. In Jesus name. Amen.
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