Jesus said: “Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour?” (Luke 10:36)

Lord, show us how to respond to our neighbour

Additional scripture passages

  • Philippians 2: 1-5
  • Psalm 10: 17-18


At the end of the parable, Jesus asked the lawyer: who was the neighbour to the man who was robbed? The lawyer replied “the one who showed him mercy”. He does not say “the Samaritan” and we might imagine that the hostility between Samaritans and Jews made that answer hard to admit. We often discover our neighbours in the most unexpected people, even those whose very name or origins we find difficult to utter. In today’s world, where polarised politics often set those of different religious identities against one another, Jesus challenges us through this parable to see the importance of our vocation to transgress borders and walls of separation.

Like the lawyer, we are challenged to reflect upon how we live our lives, not merely in terms of whether we do good or not, but whether, like the priest and the Levite, we are neglecting to do mercy.


those people,
people like that,
you know…

But you don’t know,
that’s the point,
because you don’t want to know.
They’re not important,
as long as they know their place.

Thanks be to you, dear God,
that your interfering mercy
has put us in our place
for those others.


Holy God,
your Son Jesus Christ came among us
to show us the way of compassion.
Help us by your Spirit to follow his example,
to serve the needs of all your children,
and so witness together as Christians to your ways of love and mercy.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.


  • Personal: How can you ‘do mercy’ today?
  • Local: What borders and walls of separation need to be transgressed in your locality?
  • Global: How should the Church share the gift of mercy with the world?

Go and Do

  • Personal: Learn some basic phrases in the language of a group of people new to your area, and use them.
  • Local: Think of ways in which your church or group of churches can receive from the people they help.
  • Global: Discover the ways Christians, churches and people of other faiths have been merciful to those who would have least expected it.