The Jewish Law says, according to the Messiah, that God expects a man to be a neighbor to those who are in need no matter where they are from. They don’t have to live next-door to be our neighbor. The Law says we are to treat them as we would want to be treated. Now the Law tells us how to not “inherit death” and how to maintain a good legal standing with God the Judge. As this lawyer probably already knew, we all fail at doing this, but He was still trying to “justify himself.” Fortunately, this lawyer had sacrifices that could be offered for his failure to live according to God’s rules. Perhaps, He was having trouble admitting His dependence on them.
When Jesus was talking to His disciples privately before He died, He gave some new rules, one of which He called “my commandment.” The Jewish Law was about to be fulfilled and done away with by His death and new commandments were provided to Christians. This “golden rule” that Jesus was explaining to this lawyer was meant for those who were not yet Christians and living under the Law of Moses. Does this mean that we don’t have to be “Good Samaritans?” Let me answer that by reminding you about His commandment:
John 15:12-14 :
“This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you.
So, this new rule says that we are to not only help others but to do it as Jesus would. As believers, we have been given a much more precise calling than just to do what we would have others to do for us. We are called to do for others what Jesus had done for them. We can try to justify ourselves and attempt to re-interpret this to mean something that’s within our own power, or we can trust in God’s power and accept the task. This is an impossible thing for us to do on our own, and God isn’t expecting us to maintain a good legal standing with Him by it, but by His Power we are be able to do it. The Holy Spirit wants to produce this kind of love in us. If we are really obedient, we will treat people like Jesus did.