Suppose you poll most churchgoers on the most popular and familiar of all of Jesus’ parables. In that case, you’d probably have two leading candidates, The Parable of the Good Samaritan and The Parable of the Prodigal Sons.
Recognized worldwide as one of the more inspiring stories of compassion and hospitality, The Good Samaritan has been used as a template for millions of books, stories, films, and so much more.
We know that the story begins with Jesus having a conversation with a teacher on the law who wanted to test Jesus on what he must do to inherit life to the full. We know that the lawyer gets all the answers right when he declares that he must love God with all of his heart, soul, strength, and mind; and love his neighbor as himself. Jesus states, “Do this, and you will live.”
When the guy tries to justify himself before Jesus, he challenges the Nazarene to tell him who his neighbor is. The answer is the most widely recognized story in human history.
In a world full of hurt, conflict, and need, there is no shortage of opportunities to live out the way of the Samaritan. But have you ever wondered if our struggle to love our neighbor as ourselves is because we genuinely don’t know how to love ourselves?
“Self-love is like fuel in the tank of our souls,” said Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis on the CBF Podcast Conversation. “I hate to admit it, but when my reservoir of self-love is hovering on empty, I’m cranky, short-tempered, and quick to anger.”
We sat down with the pastor, activist, and public theologian to discuss her new book, “Fierce Love,” as well as the challenges of leading her church, Middle Church in New York City, through the aftermath of a fire that destroyed their historic building.
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Andy Hale is the creator and host of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Podcast. Hale is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following eight years as the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton and five years as CBF’s church start specialist. Follow on Twitter @haleandy