Once a theologian asked Jesus what he had to do to experience the fullness of the gospel.
Jesus said to him, “You are an expert on the Bible. What does the bible say is the most important thing?”
The theologian quoted Luke 10:27, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus replied, “That is correct. If you truly do this, you will know infinite life.”
However, the theologian wanted to be sure that he was being a good Christian, so he asked Jesus to describe ‘Loving your neighbor.’
Jesus looked at him, and told this story:
“Once, a 16 year old transgender girl came out to her parents. She came downstairs in a dress, and told them that her name wasn’t Mike any more—she wanted to be called Michelle. Her parents were incensed. They threw her out of their house with nothing but the dress she was wearing, and cut her off completely. None of her friends’ parents would even let her in the door either. The local church wanted to have nothing to do with her. With no other recourse she began sleeping in the park, and holding up a cardboard sign at a busy intersection—begging for money for food.
This went on for weeks. One day a pastor drove by Michelle. He saw a dirty boy in a dirty dress begging for money, and he shook his head at how twisted the world had become. The next day a bible scholar drove by Michelle. He said to himself that if that kid only really knew the word of God he’d never have ended up on a corner.
Later a young Muslim man was stopped at Michelle’s stoplight, and saw her. When he looked at her he saw the fear, and the pain, and the hunger, and he felt sorrow for the suffering of a fellow human being. So, he pulled over, and got out of his car. He asked her name, and took her to get a hot meal. She was running a fever, so he took her to the doctor, and paid her bill. During that time he heard her story, and discovered that she had been sleeping in the park, and had nowhere to go. He went to the bank, made a withdraw from his savings, he bought her some clothes, and rented her an apartment. Then he spent the next two weeks helping Michelle find a job.”
Jesus asked the theologian, “Which of these three, do you think was loving to their neighbor?”
The theologian answered, “The one who showed mercy.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”