Galatians 5:14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Neighbor is an old English word that literally means “the boor who is neigh thee.” Basically “the boor who is near you.” Our modern definition of boor is: “an unrefined, ill-mannered person” Sometimes a neighbor can be like that, but that is not the meaning of “boor” in the context of “neighbor.” Some of the synonyms of boor include: lout, oaf, ruffian, thug, yahoo, barbarian, neanderthal, brute, beast, lubber; informal clod, roughneck, troglodyte, knuckle-dragger, pig, peasant. Our neighbors can be like those too, but that’s not meaning of “boor” in the context of “neighbor” either. The context of “boor” in this phrase means simply “farmer.” Basically, neighbor means: the farmer nearby. But just because you don’t live near any farmers that does not let you off the hook.
Once there was a lawyer who wanted to know how to be saved. Jesus answered, “You shall 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 your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27). The lawyer wanted to know what exactly Jesus meant by “neighbor” So he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29). And to illustrate what he meant Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan. It was a revolutionary story. Because for a Jew to love a Samaritan and vice versa, in the first century, was unthinkable. And yet Jesus commands it. So when Jesus said “love your neighbor.” What did he mean?
The key is found in the word “nearby.” We are called to love anyone nearby i.e. friends, coworkers, family, and yes enemies too, even those people we can’t stand. It isn’t just talking about the people you live near, it’s talking about anyone who is near you at any given time. Not just the people you like, or look like, or live near. Yes love those but many more. Who knows, maybe Jesus did have all the implications of this phrase in mind when he said “love your neighbor.” “Love the boor near you.” “Love the an unrefined, ill-mannered lout, oaf, ruffian, thug, yahoo, barbarian, neanderthal, brute, beast, lubber; informal clod, roughneck, troglodyte, knuckle-dragger, pig, peasant—.” If they are near us, we are called to love them.