When we read this story and listen to Jesus say that a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, we need to know that this is not just figuratively, or language Jesus is using. Jerusalem was thought by Jews, in Jesus day, to be the highest point in the world, it actually was higher than Jericho.
How does it make you feel that Jesus says not only to love your neighbor, but to also love your enemies?
Who could we say are our enemies? (answer in the comments below)
Is it easy/hard, or just plain foolish, to show love to those who hate you?
The Fifth Commandment.
Thou shalt not kill.
What does this mean?–Answer: We should fear and love God that we may not hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body, but help and befriend him in every bodily need [in every need and danger of life and body].
Luther expanded on his thoughts in the Large Catechism, “this commandment is violated not only when we do evil, but also when we have the opportunity to do good to our neighbors and to prevent, protect, and save them from from suffering bodily harm or injury, but fail to do so.” (Robert Kolb and Timothy Wengert, eds., The Book of Concord [Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2000], Large Catechism, 412:189–90).
According to Martin Luther’s explanation of the Fifth Commandment, how do we break the Fifth Commandment?
The Eighth Commandment.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
What does this mean?–Answer: We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, or defame our neighbor, but defend him, [think and] speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.
What does it mean to put the best construction on everything people do?