what is the nature of friendship? inarguably it's the highest form of intimacy if the life of Jesus is anything to go by.

but how do we define it? who is our 'friend' and who is our 'enemy'?

we quite often define these terms by who is 'nice' to us and who isn't, after all, that's what the Good Samaritan parable is about....isn't it?

well okay, the word used is 'neighbour' but you get the picture - Jesus is asked 'who is my neighbour' and he basically answers 'the one that is nice to you' - you will find this no surprise that I don't rate that interpretation of the Good Samaritan very highly.

but it's difficult to get away from it isn't it? we often interpret that passage to say that even those we don't think worth much - whoever that may be in your mind - even those people are our neighbour. and this is right....but what about the priest and the Levite? who are they? are they our neighbour too?

the priest and the Levite walked by on the other side of the road, too frightened, too bound by their understanding of God's Law to touch a 'dead' person.

Jesus says to us 'keep company with me, be my friend, imitate me'. in doing so we will 'keep company' with those who Jesus keeps company with - the lowly, the despised, yes.....and perhaps those in the body of Christ that we might rather not 'keep company' with?

those that Jesus calls 'friend' we have no right to call 'enemy'.

those who have ears to hear, let them hear.

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