A religious blogger once tested Jesus by blogging the following question:
“@Jesus, What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
He was a wise blogger with a large following, and he knew how to get a response. So he wrote simple, eloquent post in which he dedicated his life to the dual goal of loving God and loving his neighbor. He would make this his life’s work, devoting all his passions, his desires, his energies and his every waking thought to this one, central, goal: loving God and loving people just as much as he loved himself.
He wrote of his disciplined Bible reading, involvement in his church, and how his life would be changed by his love for God, painting a beautiful picture of how he would expend himself loving his neighbor. But his post left the reader with a single, glaring question:
“And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus took the bait, and in reply he posted:
“A man was crossing the Mall in DC when he was attacked by muggers. They tore his clothes off, beat him within an inch of his life and left him for dead, laughing as they propped him up against the Washington Monument. A pastor walked by, but he was on his way to a demonstration in front of the Supreme Court, so he quickly glanced away and hurried on. So too, a prominent Christian politician, when he came within the shadow of the Monument, passed by and hurried off to his waiting podium to deliver his speech. But then a gay man dressed in rainbow colors and carrying a sign with a red equals symbol walked up. He, too, had a demonstration to get to, and he knew his husband would be disappointed if he didn’t make it to the rally. Yet, he took pity on the man at the base of the Monument. He took off his own clothes, shivering as he used them to stop the man’s bleeding, and used his equals sign to shade the man from the sun’s harsh glare. He briefly hesitated, wondering whether the stranger had AIDS. But in a sudden motion he picked him up, carrying the man to his own immaculate car, staining his leather seats with the stranger’s blood. He took him to a hospital, where he paid for the man’s treatment out of his own pocket since the man’s wallet with his insurance card were long gone.
He never made it to the political rally. His sign with the red equals carried the dark stains of blood.
Jesus then asked a simple question:
Which one do you wish was your neighbor?
And, anticipating the response “The man who had mercy on him,” he ended his post with a clear answer to the question, “What must I do to inherit life?”
Go and do likewise.