Luk 10:36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” 37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
The well-versed lawyer was skewed and ignorant in his thinking concerning the idea of a neighbor. His childhood may have had influence in forming his worldview perspective. The man had misguided ideologies spewed by his people, but the great teacher gently shined the light in His dark heart and taught him by sharing something he could relate to. Jesus for the most part would rush to proceed onward from the prideful, however not with this lawyer. He patiently corrected His theology. In the end, Jesus posed a question to him to see who of the 3 would be a true neighbor, his response “one who showed mercy”, he would not even refer to him as the Samaritan as Jesus did, still, Jesus said, “Go and do likewise”. This life was working progress as that of Peter.
The main purpose, then, is to show how far off men may be, and yet be neighbors and how good teaching is key in bringing understanding, correction, healing, and restoration. The nation has not yet learned the deep, simple truth of this parable. This is why we need leaders with the heart of a teacher, first to empathize with the hurting and the misguided, and with the biblical gospel, address the culture and set the cross as the bridge to the great divide. Christian love must know no narrow bounds of race or sect. The love will not deny the distinctions. It will not utilize the distinctions as weapons for the division. God made us all uniquely different so that we can find solidarity in diversity through the power of the cross.