But he … said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? Luke 10:29.
Among the Jews the question, “Who is my neighbor?” caused endless dispute. They had no doubt as to the heathen and the Samaritans. These were strangers and enemies. But where should the distinction be made among the people of their own nation, and among the different classes of society? … This question Christ answered in the parable of the good Samaritan. He showed that our neighbor does not mean merely one of the church or faith to which we belong. It has no reference to race, color, or class distinction. Our neighbor is every person who needs our help. Our neighbor is every soul who is wounded and bruised by the adversary. Our neighbor is every one who is the property of God.39Christ’s Object Lessons, 376.
Every one who is in suffering need is our neighbor. Every straying son and daughter of Adam, who has been ensnared by the enemy of souls and bound in the slavery of wrong habits that blight the God-given manhood or womanhood, is my neighbor.40The Review and Herald, November 12, 1895.
Our neighbors are not merely our associates and special friends; they are not simply those who belong to our church, or who think as we do. Our neighbors are the whole human family. We are to do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. We are to give to the world an exhibition of what it means to carry out the law of God. We are to love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves.41The Review and Herald, January 1, 1895.
Today God gives men opportunity to show whether they love their neighbor. He who truly loves God and his fellow man is he who shows mercy to the destitute, the suffering, the wounded, those who are ready to die. God calls upon every man to take up his neglected work, to seek to restore the moral image of the Creator in humanity.42Letter 113, 1901.