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What Is A Neighbor?
The word neighbor seems to have different meanings to different people. It may have something to do with where you grew up. To folks in the country, a neighbor can live a mile away. To a city dweller, a neighbor might only be the house next door, or even the apartment across the hall. But it seems that people always use the word to describe someone that lives next to them. My pastor spoke about the word neighbor in his sermon a couple weeks ago. It was during that message that I learned it has more meaning than just that.  
 
Jesus used the word “neighbor” a lot. Probably the most recognized use was in Matthew 22:36, when a Pharisee tried testing Jesus by asking Him, “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus responded in verse 37, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” And then He went on to say in verse 39, “And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  
 
The Greek word for neighbor is, plēsion (play-see'-on), and is used to describe: 
 
  1. a friend 
  2. any other person, and where two are concerned, the other (thy fellow man, thy neighbour), according to the Jews, any member of the Hebrew nation and commonwealth 
  3. according to Christ, any other man irrespective of nation or religion with whom we live or whom we chance to meet 
 
I also looked in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary for the definition of the word neighbor and it said: 
 
    1. One who lives near another. In large towns, a neighbor is one who lives within a few doors. In the country, a neighbor may live at a greater distance; and in new settlements, where the people are thinly scattered over the country, a neighbor may be distant several miles. Such is the use of the word in the United States. 
    2. One who lives in familiarity with another; a word of civility. 
    3. An intimate; a confidant. 
    4. A fellow being. Acts 7:1. 
    5. One of the human race; any one that needs our help, or to whom we have an opportunity of doing good. 
    6. A country that is near. 
 
I like the fifth definition. I can’t help but think that is what Mr. Rogers meant when he would sing the theme song to his show, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor.” It also lines up with how Jesus answered the question in Luke 10:29, “And who is my neighbor?” That is when Jesus told the story of the Samaritan who helped the man that was stripped, robbed, beaten, and left half-dead along the road. Jesus said the Samaritan was a neighbor, because he helped the man in need, even though he was a stranger. 
 
As for me, if you are a client of mine, you are considered a neighbor to me, so I have neighbors who live all throughout the United States. Apparently many of my clients agree with me, because 40% of them responded to last week’s poll question that a neighbor can be anyone. I am truly blessed to know you all.  
 
Norwalk IA Real Estate – Jon Niemeyer, Broker/Owner/REALTOR® at EXIT Realty North Star. I list and sell real estate in Central Iowa including Norwalk, Des Moines, West Des Moines, Cumming, Indianola, Carlisle, Waukee, Urbandale, Grimes, Clive, Johnston, Ankeny, Altoona, and Pleasant Hill in the Counties of Warren, Polk, Dallas, and Madison. Call Jon Niemeyer at 515-490-4675
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