Weekend Thought by Robert Fish

In an attempt to test Jesus, a legal expert once asked him for his interpretation and understanding of the Jewish law.

Jesus responded by summarising the Ten Commandments as “Love God and love your neighbour as yourself.”

When asked: “Who is my neighbour?” Jesus replied by telling the parable of the Good Samaritan.

He was being deliberately provocative as Jews and Samaritans disliked each other intensely, but the point he was making is that everyone is our neighbour, including those with whom we would not normally associate or want to be associated with.

Sometimes we can find it difficult to love ourselves, let alone our neighbour, and this isn’t helped by the prevailing culture of blame and criticism we live in.

We don’t like to admit we are wrong, even when we are, and will often seek to lay some, if not all, of the blame elsewhere.

As well as avoiding taking responsibility for our actions, we damage our relationships with others, our friends and often members of our own family.

What Jesus was illustrating in his parable was that relationships are at the heart of the Ten Commandments – our relationship with God and each other.

Acknowledging our share of the blame and saying sorry is the first step on the road to being reconciled. What a much better place the world would be if we all put this into practice.