Southland Christian Center’s shopping mall odyssey
By Andrew Battista
When I read the New Testament, I always pay attention to the questions people ask Jesus. For example, there is a famous conversation in which a Torah scholar asks Jesus what one must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells him, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” a core tenant of the Jewish Law. The scholar asks in return, “Who is my neighbor?” This question obviously has a layered meaning. The scholar isn’t asking who literally lives next to him; rather, he is trying to find out how far the ethic of justice suggested by the Law should extend. The story Jesus tells to answer this question, known as the Parable of the Good Samaritan, seems to imply an infinite hospitality. Everyone is our neighbor, even our most despised social enemies. There are no limits to the deference and love we should show to others, whether or not their property is adjacent to us.