25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
We all profile people a little bit. We make subtle judgments about a person based upon their outward appearance, the actions of their lives, or even by the way they speak. In too many situations it's become an “us against them” mentality with them being wrong and us being right. We don't take the time to get to know someone because we already know that they aren't “our” kind of people, so there’s no reason for us to waste our time.
A simple perusal through the Gospels will show us very quickly that Jesus didn't have this hang-up. He chose to step into a very heated exchange with the woman taken in the act of adultery and cause each one of her accusers, with stones in their hands, to leave one by one, only to relieve her of even His own perceived condemnation. The account of Jesus with the woman at the well shows a non-judgmental savior. The woman was a Samaritan, hated and rejected as an outcast of the worst type, especially by the Jews. Yet, Jesus goes through Samaria to have this solitary conversation. By the end of their talk, Jesus declared Himself the Messiah and she gratefully accepted that revelation.
Jesus said “He was come to seek and to save that which was lost” and “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” and “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”. People that are lost have problems. People who are sick have hang ups. People who are sinners have sin. And, all these people are our neighbors. No matter if they look like us, act like us, talk like us or even like us. We are all neighbors.
God help us to reach our neighbors,