The expert in O.T.Law had a clear grasp of the Law’s central requirements. But he was also aware that he fell short of fulfilling them. There are only three ways a person can react when that awareness dawns: (1) We can acknowledge we are sinners and appeal to God for mercy. (2) We can concentrate on the things we do well and pretend we do not fail in others. (3) We can cut the Law’s requirements down by reinterpreting them, so we can live up to what are essentially lower standards. It’s this third approach the expert in Law took. He wanted to define “neighbor” in such a way he could claim he had kept the commandment.
Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.