What it means to have global neighbors

Jesus taught that there are two great commandments that sum up the lives that Christian are supposed to live, they are, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31).

Those two principles are principles that every Christian should thrive to bring true in their lives. The first command is about loving and holding God above all things. This includes valuing God above your job, sins, family, and also the needs of the earth. Christians should not be surprised by this teaching, it is very clear the Creator comes before the creation (Romans 1:25).

The bible also makes it clear, concerning the second commandment, that a neighbor is much more than just the person that lives next door. A neighbor does include people that live nearby though (Leviticus 19:33-34). It also includes neighboring communities (Ezekiel 16:26). Jesus takes a different stance, not based on where people live, but based on whether Christians can live out that commandment (Luke 10:29-37):

[But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus took up this question and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down the same road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So too, when a Levite came to that spot and saw him, he passed by on the other side. But when a Samaritan on a journey came upon him, he looked at him and had compassion. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Take care of him,’ he said, ‘and on my return I will repay you for any additional expense.’ Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” “The one who showed him mercy,” replied the expert in the law. Then Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”]

To be a neighbor is to be able to make a difference in someone’s life. If a Christian has the opportunity, then the Christian has the obligation. What that means in the modern age, is that Christians have a lot more neighbors than they used to, meaning they also have a lot more responsibility than they used to. This encompasses the majority cultures and communities throughout the world, even if meeting the needs of an individual person is next to impossible, Christians can continue to strive and push to meet the needs of all people throughout the world. Here is why one person can make a difference and here is how one person can start making a difference.