“Christ says: ‘Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?’ The Pharisee answers correctly, ‘The one who showed mercy to him’ (Luke 10:36). This means that by doing your duty you easily discover who your neighbor is . . . . He towards whom I have a duty is my neighbor, and when I fulfill my duty, I prove that I am a neighbor. Christ does not speak about recognizing our neighbor but about being a neighbor yourself, about proving yourself to be a neighbor, something the Samaritan showed by his compassion. Choosing a lover, finding a friend, yes that is a long, hard job, but your neighbor is easy to recognize, easy to find – if you yourself will only recognize your duty and be a neighbor” (Søren Kierkegaard).
The Pharisee asked the question, “Who is my neighbor,” because he wanted qualifications on the people he was to love and serve. Jesus said in essence, “The one who is in need who is near to you is your neighbor.” Or better yet, “You prove yourself to be the neighbor because you have the ability and the availability to meet someone else’s need.
The real question is: if I am the good neighbor, who can I love and serve today?