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Jesus the Teacher 1,Introduction, We come now to the moral and ethical teachings of Jesus Christ In many ways this is. the easiest part of the course to teach and that for a number of reasons. 1 The sheer genius of Christ as a teacher Much of Christ s teaching on how people. ought to behave is given through the medium of parables as we shall presently see. They are marvels of sophisticated simplicity in their penetrating observation of. human nature its strengths and weaknesses its foibles and perversities Their story. form appeals to the most elementary student and yet they deliver their message with. unforgettable force even to the most learned As teachers we shall find them an easy. and yet satisfying means of communication, 2 The superficial attractiveness of Christ s teaching Take the so called golden rule. enunciated by Jesus in his famous Sermon on the Mount In everything do to others. what you would have them do to you for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matt 7 12 Its utter simplicity coupled with its self evident rightness gives it an. immediate and universal attractiveness Here is no complicated theory difficult to. understand and open to dispute Its claim to everybody s obedience is unambiguous. and unanswerable Its implications are limitless If it were honestly carried out our. world would become a paradise But of course it is not universally carried out. indeed all of us go against it from time to time And that brings us to our next point. 3 Why do we all from time to time do wrong The ancient Greek philosopher. Socrates held that no one knowingly does wrong He meant that when we do wrong. we are not fully aware that what we are doing is wrong We think in fact that it is. good We may well know that what we are doing will harm someone else But as we. do it we think and feel that it is a good thing to do to harm this other person it gives. us an advantage over him it satisfies our desire for gain or power or revenge But. when we do someone an injustice Socrates taught not only do we injure that person. but we also injure ourselves more than we injure him If only we realised this said. Socrates we should immediately stop injuring ourselves by wronging other people. But we do not realise it we are ignorant Ignorance then according to Socrates is the. cause of our wrongdoing and it follows that the way to stop people doing wrong is. simply to educate them Only get them to see that in doing wrong to someone else. they are injuring themselves and they will immediately stop doing wrong. But is this true And if it is would knowing it be enough to get people to stop. doing wrong,76 THE BIBLE AND ETHICS,Get your class to discuss such questions as. a Have you ever done anything wrong knowing at the time that it was. b Do people ever do things that they know will harm themselves e g like. smoking or drug taking Why do they do such things, c If you could steal a lot of money or murder someone and be absolutely. sure that no one on earth would ever find out is there any reason why you. should not do it, d Is it true that when you do someone an injustice you actually harm. yourself How would you prove it, e The Apostle Paul once said I have the desire to do what is good but. I cannot carry it out For the good I would do that I do not and the evil. I don t want to do that I keep on doing Rom 7 19 Have any of us ever felt. 4 Some basic requirements of any ethical teaching If therefore our teaching of. ethics is going to be effective we shall need to be able to give our students convincing. answers to the following among other questions, a What is good behaviour And what is bad How does one define it. b Has anyone the authority to tell us what is good and what is bad Why can. we not decide it each one for himself, c Why don t we always do what is right Why do we often find it hard to do. what is right and easy to do what is wrong, d What adequate motivation can we have for doing what is right particularly. when other people do wrong Is there any advantage in doing good Or. ought we always to do good even if we suffer for it. e Where can we find the strength to do what we know to be right and to. avoid what is bad, Now if we are going to be fair to the ethical teaching of Jesus Christ we must. allow him to give us little by little his answers to these questions We begin with his. own presentation of himself as Teacher and of the nature of his teaching. Christ s Presentation of Himself as Teacher, At that time Jesus answered and said I thank thee O Father Lord of heaven and. earth because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed. them unto babes Even so Father for so it seemed good in thy sight All things are. delivered unto me of my Father and no man knoweth the Son but the Father neither. knoweth any man the Father save the Son and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal. him Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart and ye. shall find rest unto your souls For my yoke is easy and my burden is light Matt. 17 Jesus the Teacher 1 77, In this passage Jesus makes two assertions about himself. 1 that he is the almighty Son of God,2 that nevertheless he is meek and lowly in heart. He gives two descriptions of his teaching, 1 that it is a yoke to which his disciples must submit and a burden they must. 2 that nevertheless his yoke is easy and his burden is light. And then on the basis of these two assertions and these two descriptions he issues two. invitations each accompanied by a promise, 1 come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. 2 take my yoke on you and learn from me and you will find rest for your. The Two Assertions,Here we find, 1 Christ s answer to the question what authority has he to tell us what is right and. what is wrong, He is the Son of God to whom God has given supreme power in the creation. government and salvation of the world everything has been committed to me by My. Father In this he is different from the Buddha who taught his disciples how to gain. release from their desires but never claimed to be God or even a god and did not. know whether there was a God or not And different from Mohammed who claimed. to be God s last and greatest prophet but not to be God incarnate We need therefore. to understand who Jesus claims to be because on that depends the authority he. claims for his ethical teaching,2 Strong evidence that Christ s claim is true. Professor C S Lewis once pointed out that our mental hospitals are full of. megalomaniacs claiming to be God or Napoleon or Alexander the Great or a fried. egg or something else extraordinary But Jesus was no arrogant self assertive. megalomaniac His first claim to be the Son of God was balanced by his next claim I. am meek and lowly of heart and the Gospels give abundant examples to show that. this assertion was true Alexander the Great did get himself proclaimed as the son of. the Egyptian god Ammon and he did eventually propose for political reasons that. both his Greek and his oriental subjects should worship him as a god But Alexander. could never have said I am meek and lowly of heart It is the combination of Christ s. claim to deity with his meekness and lowliness of heart that makes his claim both. credible and convincing He has supreme authority but he is supremely humble He. is God but He is no tyrant,78 THE BIBLE AND ETHICS. The Two Descriptions,1 Christ s ethical teaching is a yoke. Jesus Christ does not hide the fact that his ethical teaching is a yoke which his. disciples must accept and a burden they must carry. The meaning of the term yoke In the ancient world a yoke was a specially shaped. piece of wood which a farmer would fit on to the neck of his oxen so that he could. control them and harness them to plough the fields thresh the corn or pull the farm. carts Ancient kings therefore called their government a yoke because by it they. controlled and guided the people And teachers of morality and religion called their. teaching a yoke for the same reason, There is a vivid story in the Old Testament 1 Kings 12 which illustrates this. meaning of yoke The people ask the king to make his yoke easier Instead he makes. it harder and they revolt Read the story and tell it to the students in full See also. Acts 15 10 where false religious teaching is described as an unbearable yoke. Christ s teaching then is a yoke He is the Son of God sent by God to be. mankind s rightful king to govern us and to get us to obey God s rule This is the. authority he claims for telling us what is right and what is wrong which is why he. began his public teaching by proclaiming Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near. Matt 4 17 In submitting to his ethics we are submitting not simply to some abstract. moral principles but to a person to whom we owe personal loyalty. 2 Christ s ethical teaching is an easy yoke, A good farmer would see to it that the yokes which he put on his oxen fitted them. well and did not chafe them It thus made it easier for the oxen to do their work If a. boy wants to become a champion tennis player he must submit to his coach Obeying. the coach s instructions may seem hard at first but it is better than hitting the ball. uncontrollably and in the end it will make the playing easier more successful and. more enjoyable It is always better to drive a car according to the maker s instructions. Christ knows how our bodies minds emotions and desires were meant to work He. made them His yoke is designed to fit us and so to make life easier. The Two Invitations,1 The first invitation and promise. The first invitation is addressed to people who are weary and burdened Discuss with. your students the ways in which even young people can be weary and burdened In. many big cities of the world the number of young people who commit suicide is going. up Why Here are some suggestions,a The seeming pointlessness of life. b The difficulty of finding employment and the consequent feeling of being. useless and unwanted, c The boredom ill health and worry that arise from alcoholism drugs frantic. lifestyles,17 Jesus the Teacher 1 79, d The psychological wounds and guilt feelings that follow immorality. e The basic insecurity caused by strife in the home parental divorce one. parent families, f Constant failure to live up to one s ideals leading to disgust with oneself. To those who come to him Christ gives immediate rest because he gives. a immediate forgiveness and release from guilt see e g Luke 5 20. b a restored sense of purpose in life see e g 1 Thess 1 9 10 to serve the. living God, c an immediate sense of being loved and valued by God and therefore of. being of infinite and permanent significance see e g Matt 12 12 Rom 5 5. d an assurance of God s care in the practical affairs of life and relief from. anxiety see e g Matt 6 25 30,2 The second invitation and promise. This is to enter the School of Christ and to be taught and trained by him how to live. His teaching will require standards of behaviour that are very different from the. world s standards and for that reason they may well incur the world s hostility and. opposition But here too Christ promises rest to our souls because he can effect. within us a new birth by which we become children of God and receive new powers. with which to carry out his instructions and to live according to his moral standards. see e g 1 John 5 3 4,Jesus the Teacher 2,The First and Greatest Commandment. Jesus was once asked what in his estimation was the greatest commandment the. basic principle from which all the others are derived He replied Thou shalt love the. Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind This is. the great and first commandment Matt 22 37 38, We see at once what according to Christ the basic motivation behind all true. morality must be love Not desire for happiness or success but love And not love of. oneself nor primarily love for one s neighbour and the community though as a later. study will show that comes second but love for God the Creator The world is his. world He made it to serve his pleasure and to run according to his design It is only. rational that our prime duty should be to live according to our Creator s will and out. of sheer gratitude for our existence to love him In this context love for God does not. mean some sentimental religious feeling this is the love of God says the Bible. 1 John 5 3 that we keep his commandments We are to do so with all our heart. mind soul and strength,Mankind s greatest wrong, But here also is Christ s diagnosis of the fundamental trouble both with individuals. and with society as a whole How shall we live as we ought if we do not love our. Maker and live according to his design How shall we rightly value and treat our. fellow men and women if we deny or even despise or forget their Maker And how. would life be anything other than a drudgery if we served God out of a sullen sense. of mere duty and not out of wholehearted love for him. In breaking the first and greatest commandment and we have all done so we are. guilty of the greatest sin failing to love God Here we face a fundamental problem. We cannot make ourselves love God What then can create this love of God within us. The following parable will help us understand,The Parable of the Prodigal Son. And he said A certain man had two sons And the younger of them said to his father. Father give me the portion of goods that falleth to me And he divided unto them his. living And not many days after the younger son gathered all together and took his. 18 Jesus the Teacher 2 81, journey into a far country and there wasted his substance with riotous living And. when he had spent all there arose a mighty famine in that land and he began to be in. want And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country and he sent him into. his fields to feed swine And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the. swine did eat and no man gave unto him And when he came to himself he said How. many hired servants of my father s have bread enough and to spare and I perish with. hunger I will arise and go to my father and will say unto him Father I have sinned. against heaven and before thee and am no more worthy to be called thy son make. me as one of thy hired servants And he arose and came to his father But when he. was yet a great way off his father saw him and had compassion and ran and fell on. his neck and kissed him And the son said unto him Father I have sinned against. heaven and in thy sight and am no more worthy to be called thy son But the father. said to his servants Bring forth the best robe and put it on him and put a ring on his. hand and shoes on his feet and bring hither the fatted calf and kill it and let us eat. and be merry For this my son was dead and is alive again he was lost and is found. And they began to be merry Now his elder son was in the field and as he came and. drew nigh to the house he heard music and dancing And he called one of the. servants and asked what these things meant And he said unto him Thy brother is. come and thy father hath killed the fatted calf because he hath received him safe and. sound And he was angry and would not go in therefore came his father out and. entreated him And he answering said to his father Lo these many years do I serve. thee neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment and yet thou never gavest. me a kid that I might make merry with my friends but as soon as this thy son was. come which hath devoured thy living with harlots thou hast killed for him the fatted. calf And he said unto him Son thou art ever with me and all that I have is thine It. was meet that we should make merry and be glad for this thy brother was dead and. is alive again and was lost and is found Luke 15 11 32. Suggestion get the class to dramatise the parable, This is perhaps the most famous of Christ s parables a classic of world literature. Dr Kenneth Bailey who lived for some years among the Palestinians and Bedouin. points out2 that they have preserved many of the same values as their ancestors who. lived in the time of Christ Their reactions when Dr Bailey told them the parable help. us to capture its true meaning,1 The prodigal son s outrageous behaviour. a His treatment of his father The prodigal s chief offence was not that he squandered. his wealth in wild living 15 13 or that he squandered his father s property on. prostitutes 15 20 That was bad enough but far worse was what he did to his father. In ancient Palestine a father would normally make a will specifying how much each. son was to receive on his death For a son to demand his inheritance before his father. died would in that society be regarded as an outrage It was as if the son was saying. Father I wish you were dead You are stopping me enjoying myself Hurry up and. die and get out of my way Or else rob yourself and give me my inheritance now In a. Poet and Peasant Grand Rapids Eerdmans 1976,82 THE BIBLE AND ETHICS. society where family relationships were sacred such an attitude would be. unthinkable and be felt to be unforgivable, The application of the parable is obvious Many people have the same attitude to. God as the prodigal to his father Even if they do not deny the existence of the Creator. they want nothing to do with him The thought of a Creator and of his laws hampers. their enjoyment and restricts their freedom They wish to live in complete. independence of God They certainly do not love him with all their heart mind soul. and strength However they want to go on enjoying all the good things that the. Creator has made, b The prodigal s sell out of the community s capital Since in pre industrialised societies. land and cattle were the extended family s basic capital every effort was normally. made to keep the land within the extended family But the son not only demanded. possession of his share of the land before his father died but on receiving it sold it. and squandered the money in the far country The point is that when he sold it no. other member of the extended family would have dared to buy it for that would have. been to gain possession of land that belonged to the prodigal s father while he was. still living The prodigal then must have sold the land to outsiders and have thus. permanently diminished the family s capital The village would have been outraged. not only when the prodigal went away but also when he came back and they. discovered that he had wasted every penny of the capital in wild living The loss was. irrecoverable, The application is again obvious When an individual rejects or ignores God and. lives simply to gratify himself he not only damages himself he diminishes the whole. community s moral and spiritual capital He could also injure the community. economically by his alcoholism absenteeism laziness fraud and corruption And. how much more so if a whole nation does similarly,2 The father s reaction to the son s demand. When Christ described how the prodigal son devastated his father by making his. outrageous request his hearers would have expected Christ to say that the father flew. into a rage and disinherited his son if not executed him Such a reaction would have. been regarded as totally justified Instead Christ depicted the father as granting his. son s request and letting him depart Once more the implication is clear God is no. tyrant He has given men free will and he respects it When people reject ignore. despise insult and deny God he does not immediately strike them dead or even. withdraw from them life s good things at once However he lets them gradually. discover the spiritual poverty and moral misery that inevitably ensue when a creature. rejects or ignores the Creator,3 The prodigal s dawning repentance. At first getting rid of his father s presence and control seemed to the prodigal to have. paid off He had a riotously enjoyable time or so he thought But eventually reality. caught up with him He came to poverty hunger degradation and loneliness No one. wanted him This began the process of repentance within him He decided to go home. 18 Jesus the Teacher 2 83, to his father and confess his folly He also planned to put a proposition to his father. I am no longer worthy to be called your son make me as one of your hired servants. To us his proposal might seem to indicate genuine repentance and true. reconciliation with his father But in fact it was not a happy suggestion On an ancient. farm there would be three classes of workers First there would be the sons of the. owner They would not work for a wage Being members of the family who would. inherit the farm when the father died they would work for love of the father and of. the family and for the good of the family s estate. Then there would be the serfs who worked for their keep and for a minimal. wage but had no independence They would live on the farm But there would also. be independent workers who lived in the village and hired themselves out on. contract The prodigal on his return wanted to be one of these He was not going to. live and work simply out of love for his father and family Having foolishly lost all his. own share of the estate through his wild lifestyle he was now proposing to remain. independent of his father and to hire out his services to him for money. Such a proposal could never satisfy the father It would not heal the estrangement. The prodigal must abandon his foolish independence He must accept the father as. father and live and work for him out of love for him and the family. Many people still make the same mistake They have learned by bitter experience. the moral and spiritual poverty that results from living without God and they vow to. change their lifestyle and to serve God But like the ancient Pharisees their attitude to. God remains wrong Without perhaps thinking they still assume independence of. God and propose now by good behaviour works and religious observances to earn. God s favour hoping that in the end he will pay them by giving them salvation But. this is false As creatures of God we can never be independent of him All that we. have that is worth having comes from him and belongs to him We cannot use what is. his to buy anything from him least of all salvation The only satisfactory way to live. for God is to love him with all our heart mind soul and strength and to serve him. freely out of love, But what can generate such love for God in our hearts. 4 The father s self humbling, In normal life if and when a son like the one in the parable came back all the people. of the village would be out to meet him deriding his rags and filth pouring their. curses on his head for all the damage and shame he had done to the community and. getting ready to stone him if his father ordered it But at this point the father did an. astounding thing he ran to meet the prodigal forgave him and welcomed him back. Now in the ancient world no important man would run for any reason Running. was held to be beneath their dignity Even the Greek philosopher Aristotle thought. that For the prodigal s father to run at all was to humiliate himself For him to run to. meet his prodigal son instead of waiting in the house in great dignity and aloofness. until the prodigal came to the door and was himself humiliated by being kept. waiting this was astounding behaviour But it showed the prodigal what his father s. 84 THE BIBLE AND ETHICS, heart was really like in a way that he had never realised before His forgiveness. acceptance and re instatement of the prodigal in the family as a son provoked him to. love the father with all his heart and to serve him freely thereafter. Of course this part of the parable was meant to point to what God has done for us. sinners in Christ In the ancient world crucifixion was considered the most shameful. and humiliating death possible which is why the Christian message of the cross. seemed to the philosophical Greeks crude and foolish and to the religious Jews a. scandal But for millions it has proved the power of God to salvation For not only has. it made forgiveness and reconciliation with God possible but the self humbling of. God in allowing his creatures to crucify his Son in order that by that very suffering he. might procure their forgiveness and bestow his love on them has created in the hearts. of those who repent and are forgiven that responsive love for God which is the only. satisfactory motive for serving God the only adequate motive for sound Christian. The Christian apostle John summed it up in two short sentences We love God. because he first loved us This is the love of God that we keep his commandments. 1 John 4 19 5 3,Suggestions for discussion, 1 Discuss the basis of all true morality is love for God expressed in. keeping his commandments, 2 Discuss the prodigal s attitude to his father Where do we see this. reflected today in people s attitudes to God, 3 How does the parable help us to understand how love for God can. be generated in our hearts and lives,Jesus the Teacher 3. The Second Greatest Commandment, According to Jesus Christ the second greatest of all the commandments is Thou shalt. love thy neighbour as thyself Matt 22 37 40 This was not a commandment which. he there and then invented he quoted it from the Old Testament Lev 19 18 Its. reasonableness is self evident If we all carried it out all the time the world would. soon become a paradise But we don t always do so Why not. Here get your students to suggest reasons why people do not always. love their neighbours as themselves, One of Jesus listeners was an expert in the Old Testament but did not always. obey this commandment any more than other people do So he tried to excuse himself. by suggesting that there was a difficulty with its wording which made it virtually. impossible to carry it out But who is my neighbour he said What he meant was. this does the term neighbour mean simply those nearest to me my wife and. children and close relatives Or is it meant to include my next door neighbour or all. the people that live in my block of flats or all the people in my town in my country. and in all the world Where are we allowed to draw the line Obviously if I love my. family as myself and they are hungry I can share my food equally with them But if. I try to share my food with every hungry person in my city there won t be enough to. keep any of us alive So who exactly is my neighbour The term neighbour he. maintained is too vague and therefore the commandment is unrealistic and. unworkable This then was the excuse given by the expert in the Old Testament for. why he did not carry out the second greatest commandment Luke 10 25 29. At this point get your students to discuss the following questions. 1 Was the expert s excuse valid,2 If not how would you answer his objection. 3 Obviously there would be no practical sense in our trying to. share our small amount of food with every hungry person in the. world But there is enough food in the world to feed everyone If. all governments all business men all individuals everywhere. loved their neighbours as themselves and shared the world s food. fairly no one would starve But the world at large does not carry. out the second greatest commandment Does that then give us a. valid excuse for not carrying it out ourselves as far as we can. 86 THE BIBLE AND ETHICS,The Parable of the Good Samaritan. And behold a certain lawyer stood up and tempted him saying Master what shall. I do to inherit eternal life He said unto him What is written in the law how readest. thou And he answering said Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and. with all thy soul and with all thy strength and with all thy mind and thy neighbour. as thyself And he said unto him Thou hast answered right this do and thou shalt. live But he willing to justify himself said unto Jesus And who is my neighbour And. Jesus answering said A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell. among thieves which stripped him of his raiment and wounded him and departed. leaving him half dead And by chance there came down a certain priest that way and. when he saw him he passed by on the other side And likewise a Levite when he was. at the place came and looked on him and passed by on the other side But a certain. Samaritan as he journeyed came where he was and when he saw him he had. compassion on him And went to him and bound up his wounds pouring in oil and. wine and set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed he took out two pence and gave them to the. host and said unto him Take care of him and whatsoever thou spendest more when. I come again I will repay thee Which now of these three thinkest thou was. neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves And he said He that shewed mercy. on him Then said Jesus unto him Go and do thou likewise Luke 10 25 37. This is one of the most famous of Jesus parables So first get your students to read the. parable simply as a story or tell it to them in detail pointing out how vividly true to. life its setting was The road from Jerusalem to Jericho wound down through high. broken cliffs where bandits could easily lurk and jump out on lonely travellers. Mugging was common then as it is now,The first major lesson of the parable. The parable has several lessons to teach Let us deal first with its last and major point. 10 36 37 The expert s excuse for not loving his neighbour as himself was a. theoretical difficulty he did not know exactly to what person or persons the. commandment was referring by the term neighbour when it said Thou shalt love. thy neighbour as thyself So he asked Who is my neighbour But from a practical. point of view his theoretical question was irrelevant and rather silly Not knowing. exactly how many people in the world you may eventually be required to treat as. your neighbour does not stop you from acting as a neighbour to someone who at this. very moment lies before your very feet in dire need So when our Lord applied the. lesson of his parable he did not answer the expert s theoretical question Instead he. asked the expert a different practical question, Which of the three men the priest the Levite and the Samaritan proved. neighbour that is acted like a neighbour to the man that fell among robbers There. was no difficulty in answering that question Even the expert had to admit that it was. the Samaritan who acted like a neighbour and had compassion on the man in need. Go and do likewise said Christ, The first major lesson then is clear our duty is to act in a compassionate loving. and practical way to those whom we actually encounter in daily life that are in any. 19 Jesus the Teacher 3 87, need whatever if we are able to help them It is right of course that we should bear. in mind the vast need throughout the world But we should not allow our personal. inability to do much about that need to paralyse us into doing nothing about the need. that we actually meet around us day by day And certainly we should not use it as an. excuse for not acting as a loving neighbour to as many as we can. This lesson can be reinforced as follows Another way of expressing. the commandment Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself is to say. as Jesus did on another occasion Whatever you would that people. should do to you that do also yourself to them Matt 7 12 If you. were mugged like the man in the parable and were lying half dead. on the road would you not want the passers by to help you Would. you not complain bitterly if they ignored you Well then treat. anyone who is in any need whatever in the same way as you would. wish to be treated if you were in that need,The second lesson of the parable. The second lesson of the parable is that if our religion does not move us to love our. neighbour as ourselves it is inadequate if not completely false Since the story which. our Lord told was a parable and not the record of an actual incident he was free to. choose the characters in the story His choice of a priest and a Levite as the men who. passed by without raising a finger to help the wounded man is therefore very. significant Both the priest and the Levite were religious functionaries in the temple of. God at Jerusalem they ought to have been the very first to love their neighbour as. themselves Why didn t they Had they been going up to Jerusalem to begin a tour of. duty in the temple they might well have been afraid to touch a nearly dead man. because according to their religious regulations contact with a dead body would have. defiled them and temporarily unfitted them for taking part in the temple services see. OT book of Numbers 19 But they were not going up to Jerusalem Their tour of duty. was over and they were going down from Jerusalem back home 10 31 They had no. valid reason then for not helping the wounded man Perhaps they thought that their. job was loving God and serving him in the temple and that they could leave loving. their neighbour as themselves to other people to do If so they were very mistaken. It is true that the first commandment is as we saw in our last chapter that we. should love God with all our heart mind soul and strength and that this must. always have priority But it is not enough by itself The New Testament comments If. anyone says I love God and yet hates his brother he is a liar for anyone who does. not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen And. again If any one has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity. on him how can the love of God be in him 1 John 4 20 3 17. The third lesson of the parable, Loving your neighbour as yourself means that you must be prepared to act the good. and compassionate neighbour not only towards you friends your fellow countrymen. and people whom you like but also towards people you do not like and even.
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