The inquiry of Cain (Gen. 4:9), "Am I my brother's keeper?" is answered in the second great commandment given by Christ Jesus (Matt. 22:39), "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

Christ Jesus is our Exemplar, and his parable of the good Samaritan in the tenth chapter of Luke illustrates the qualities of character which were typical of the Master's own life of loving service among men. According to the Bible narrative, the good Samaritan was not personally acquainted with the individual who had fallen among thieves. The Levite and the priest had passed by the helpless and wounded man without stopping to give him aid. The good Samaritan had nothing to gain humanly when he stopped to assist the stranger by binding up his wounds, taking him to the inn, and providing financially for his care until he had recovered. Obviously the only reward for this loving service was the unselfish joy of helping someone in need, and thus he was a genuine keeper of his brother.

This parable also shows in a practical way how one may be a good neighbor and a keeper of his brother wherever one may be. It is not necessary for us to take a journey to find someone in need of the kindly office of a good Samaritan. In the home, the schoolroom, the business office, and in every walk of life are those who are in need of encouragement, a friendly smile, a constructive thought, and a kindly act. Being a good Samaritan may involve self-sacrifice and self-denial on our part, but in helping another we are also helping ourselves. In our endeavor to be a good neighbor, we are working out our own salvation.

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October 27, 1956

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