Loving Others AS Jesus Loved You

A higher standard of love.

Not to long ago I wrote an article titled; The Second Great Commandment. In that article I quoted the bible verse where Jesus made a statement which is found in Matthew 22:39 (NKJV) which says: 39 And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. This was a quote Jesus took from Leviticus 19:18. According to this verse we are the love our neighbors as we do ourselves. Throughout that entire article was the focus of loving our neighbor which I still believe is utmost important. Within a month or so after that article was writen I began to study further in the bible on the subject of love because even though the second great commandment requires a believer to love our neighbor as ourselves, it seemed the depth of love had never really been explained aside from how we love ourselves. To me that seemed alot. I know how much it love myself. So, with that as a level to uses it seemed at the time I knew how much to love others. However, something still seemed, at the time I wrote that article, to be missing. And it kept bugging me so I continued further study on this subject of love based on Jesus teachings. What I learned from this further study made me realize how much more important the Kingdom of God is and that there is a standard of love that far exceeds the level of love revealed in the Second Great Commandment which is expected of us as disciples of Christ. And that we are to love others at a level that is expected of those who are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Without a doubt Jesus Christ represented God's Kingdom while He was on earth during His ministry. Jesus was the embodiment of the Kingdom. Through all manner of His speech and actions, Jesus revealed the nature of the Kingdom. Jesus demonstrated love far beyound anything we thought possible. In the end, Jesus revealed the greatest love that anyone can show towards another by dying for our sins. As it clearly explains in John15:13 (NKJV) which states:

13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."

This verse was the key which really opened my eyes. Because the verse before it hit me with such a shock. In John 15:12(NKJV) it states:

12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another AS "I" have loved you".

Jesus Christ gave his disciple a new commandment to love one another the way "HE" loved us. Further study in the Book of John does reveal a "New Commandement" given by Jesus as it states in John 13:34 (NKJV):

34 "A NEW COMMANDMENT I give to you, that you love one another AS "I" have loved you, that you also love one another."

I have no doubt in my mind that Jesus has authority by the Father in heaven to give commandment. Jesus clearly was doing the will of the Father in heaven. Was Jesus speaking this commandment of behalf of God the Father? Well Jesus says in John 12:49 (NKJV) :

49 For I have not spoken on my own authority; but my Father who sent Me gave Me a "command, what I should say and what I should speak. ."

Clearly, everything Jesus spoke was given and commanded to him to speak by His Father in heaven.

So, what exactly does this mean with the NEW COMMANDMENT given to us as disciple to love others as Jesus Christ loved us? Well again it states the new commandment in the same book of John 13:34-35(NKJV) which states:

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another "AS" I have loved you; that you also love one another.

(Here is why)

35 By this ALL will know that you are my disciples,if you have love for one another.

Clearly, as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are to love others as Jesus loved us and by this "ALL" will know we are disciples of Christ.

So, we now must know, just how much did Jesus love us? As Jesus was a representitive of the Kingdom of God, can we possibly love others as much as Christ did?

In my opinion, Jesus loves me far more than I love myself. How can I possibly love others as much as Jesus loves me? Jesus has raise the standand of love that we should have towards others. How do I love my neighbor as much as Jesus love me? Is it even possible for us to achive this kind or level of love towards others?

Without a doubt this is the level of love we will find in the Kingdom of heaven. Jesus has set the standard of love which we are commanded to do as His disciples. I know I fall short on this commandment. If this is the standard Jesus expects from us with regards to loving one another, then how much do we show towards our Father in heaven? How much more do we show towards our Lord Jesus Christ?

I could sit here for hours and list the many ways in which Jesus Christ demonstrated His love towards those He taught during His ministry. The many healings, the kindness towards others, the forgiveness towards sinners and the list does on and on. As a repersentitive of the Kingdom Jesus shown what love is like in the Kingdom of God. Which, by His speech and actions was far greater than what we find when we "love your neighbor as yourself."

This brings me to a much better understanding of Jesus words in which He had spoken in Matthew 5:43-44 (NKJV) which states: 33 "You have heard it said; You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy; 34 BUT "I" SAY TO YOU LOVE YOUR ENEMIES; AND BLESS THOSE WHO CURSE YOU; DO GOOD TO THOSE WHO HATE YOU; AND PRAY FOR THOSE WHO SPITEFULLY USE YOU AND PERSECUTE YOU."

If we sit back and think about this, Jesus did everything He spoke in these verses. Everything He asked of us to do in these two verse, He Himself did also. He loved His enemies, He blessed those who cursed Him, He prayed for those who spitefully used and persecuted Him. His love was without fail. And in the end He died for us. It's amazing what we find when we search for it. This new commandment from Christ brings a greater understanding of His love towards us and how we are to love one another. .These two verses above are exactly what Jesus is referring to in the New Commandment to His disciples. He was revealing to those who are followers of Christ a greater level of love. The kind of love that is found in the Kingdom of God.

In Matthew 22:37 (NKJV)it states:37 Jesus said to them; "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind". This is the frist great commandment. Do we really love God with all our heart, soul and mind. Yet, this too is what is expected of us all. It seems to me that I have much to work to do in the area of love. I must strive to achive the same level of love towards others as Jesus loved me. It's a daily effort now to love others at a level I have never achived before. I don't know if I will achive this level of love that Jesus clearly has shown towards us, but I know I will strive to love others and my neighbors AS Jesus loves me.

Love and Blessings to all.


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14 comments

BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 14 months ago from Victoria, Australia

Enjoyed reading this. One of the books I'm writing at the moment is partly on this topic and I think you've done it well. Just to think, what an aim, to love as Jesus loves us!


graceinus 14 months ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

BlossomSB- I'm very pleased that you enjoyed this article. And very happy that you plan to write in part on the same subject. I'm amazed that this New Commandment is not talked or taught by many or others who are in positions to do so. It wasn't until recent (past three months or so) during this study I mentioned in this article that I even realized this NEW Commandment by Jesus regarding love, though I must have read this verse a hundred time or more it just never hit me until now. I do believe this is God's Kingdom standard of love that we find Jesus speaking about in this new Commandment.

Blessings.


Rich kelley profile image

Rich kelley 13 months ago from The Ekklesia

Graceinus

This got me thinking about the kingdom of God and how most would like a one line answer to what the Kingdom of God is. You know something simple and easy to do so we can just do it and feel good about ourselves. You have pointed out many times that Jesus was here to preach about the Kingdom of God. There are many one liners all over the gospels that tell what the Kingdom of God is like, as well as what it is not like. If we read the scriptures and study to show ourselves assured He will show us the Kingdom of God.

You have pointed out yet one more thing that happens or goes on in the Kingdom of God. One more thing that most if honest with themselves know yet another short coming in ourselves. It is a narrow path that we know is not as easy to walk on as a broad path with no boundaries.

He answered them and said: (Luke 17:20)

The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed or with visible display (AMP), The kingdom of God will not come through observation (BBE), God's Kingdom isn't something you can see (CEV), God's kingdom is coming, but not in a way that you can see it (ERV), The Kingdom of God does not come in such a way as to be seen (GNB), The kingdom of God cometh not with observation (KJV), The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed (NASB), The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed (NIV).

Today there is a lot of watching going on. Almost every conversation out there has information about the things of this world, things you can see and follow in the news. I would suggest by the comments made by Jesus that what they see and repeat as if knowledge, gives no light to the Kingdom of God. We will see the Kingdom of God within us by being doers of the Word. We will see the Kingdom in our actions as we live our lives by His example with faith and hope in Him. We will see The Kingdom of God by believing it is amongst us and within us. (Luke 17:21)

If we just take the time to be doers of His word, not the institutional churches word the Kingdom of God will grow in us. When this growth takes place the love you speak of in this hub will also grow and mature in us.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and studies.

Rich


graceinus 13 months ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

Rich- It is always good to see a comment from you. And I thank you for it. It is my hope that many more will choose to read this even if they don't wish to leave comments. The important part is the informations needs to get out there. I am so glad I took the time to study more on this subject. It opened my eyes even more into understanding more of the nature of God's Kingdom. What I am surprised about is the lack of awareness regarding John 13:34. It is not taught in churches and yet it is vital piece of information into the nature of the Kingdom of God. As stated in the article, Jesus commanded us to love one another AS He loved us, but you never hear about this in "churches". This New Commandment spoken of by Jesus is something we all need to strive for and if possible achive. I will be the first to admitt that I fall short, but I will continue to strive to love others AS Jesus loves me (and the rest of us).

This understanding that we need to love one anothers AS Jesus loved us has caused me to study deeper into Jesus teaching with regards to the Kingdom to find anything I have missed. Or to find new insight that wasn't noted before. I trust that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide all disciples in Christ to even greater understanding into the Kingdom of God. Again I thank you for your comment.

Love and blessings.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 13 months ago from Houston, TX USA

Article:

This brings me to a much better understanding of Jesus words in which He had spoken in Matthew 5:43-44 (NKJV) which states: 33 "You have heard it said; You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy; 34 BUT "I" SAY TO YOU LOVE YOUR ENEMIES; AND BLESS THOSE WHO CURSE YOU; DO GOOD TO THOSE WHO HATE YOU; AND PRAY FOR THOSE WHO SPITEFULLY USE YOU AND PERSECUTE YOU."

I agree with your article (mostly) and would like to add: Love one another (Jesus) does not mean kill one another (Old Testament Rabbis). All violence in the name of religion is void; past, present and future. To me, Jesus voided all the violence of the OT as being wrong. That includes Joshua and his claim of a covenant which allowed him to fight in the name of The Lord. Follow Jesus, not the Rabbis (OT).


graceinus 13 months ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

Jay C OBrien- Thank you for your comment. But I am puzzled by your statement, " To me, Jesus voided all violence in the OT as being wrong." There is a verse in the bible where God clearly explains that man can take the life of another man. This verse I'm talking about was set in a time long before the Old Covenant was in place.

In Genesis 9: 6 (NKJV) it states: 6 Who ever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed. For in the image of God He made man.

This verse is set at a time just after the flood in which God was speaking to Noah. This was long before the children of Israel existed. And, yet, God did have His reason for this at the time. We may not understand it, but then again we don't have the mind of God. Therefore, I would find it hard to agree with your statement that Jesus voided all violence in the Old Testament. Unless I'm misunderstanding your point. (And if so, then please clarify)

Without understanding the FULL plan of God, we tend to assume the mind of God and how He thinks. We tend to think of God in a set way. He is this or He is that. And yet we never consider that He may be both or even more than we realize. The Old and New Testament is not the whole story. There is more in God plan for mankind than what is understood or explained . I give you a perfect example in the Book of Revelation 10: 4 (NKJV) it states: 4 Now when the Seven Thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, " Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them." My question here is, what did the Seven Thunders utter that was so revealing and important that John was told not to write it. This verse I just mention seems lost to most so called "christians."

Clearly this verse involves possible endtime events that are not revealed to us. And clearly this must, in some way have some part in God's FULL plan for mankind. The point I'm making here is that even though we are to seek the Kingdom of God and how we should love one another as Jesus had taught throughout His ministry does NOT mean that any part of God's plan of the past, during the present and towards the future is wrong.

It is my belief that based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, what is expected of us NOW, as disciple of Christ, is to love one another as Jesus loves us. And as Jesus was the embodiment of the Kingdom of God on earth at the time of His ministry, then it can safely be understood as a standard of love we find in the Kingdom of heaven. My opinion is that it's a higher standard of love that Jesus discribes in John 13:34 than what was practiced in the Old Testament, because they had no knowlodge of it.. Which I believe is only a small "part" of God's FULL plan.

Clearly, as disciple of Christ we should have NO part of violence in any form.

Blessings


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 13 months ago from Houston, TX USA

"Clearly, as disciple of Christ we should have NO part of violence in any form."

Yes, this is true and has always been true; past, present and future.

It is mankind who condemns and wants to punish others, not Jesus. Jesus said, I condemn No One and Jesus is eternal.


graceinus 13 months ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

Jay C OBrien- Thank you for taking the time and effort to read this article and for both of your comments. I believe I understand the point you're trying to make.


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 13 months ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ

Graceinus,

Every religious sect and denomination will agree that we must "love others as Jesus loves us." There is a distinction between genuine and counterfeit love. Many don't understand the love of Jesus Christ because the truth is not in them. You hear about "love" wherever we go, even the Beatles sang, "all you need is love."

This all sounds warm and fuzzy, but the "love" of man-made religion and the world is not the same love that Jesus spoke of.

We find in Scripture that without obedience, we cannot know the true love of our Father. This means that most have a misconception of "love." They make for themselves a version of Jesus based on their corrupt definition of "love."

Whoever says “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and THE TRUTH is not in him. – 1 John 2:4

…GOD’S LOVE HAS BEEN POURED INTO OUR HEARTS THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT who has been given to us. - Romans 5:5

You see, if we don't love God first with our obedience, we will not know how to love. This leads to making up how we are to "love" our neighbor as ourselves without the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. THIS IS THE GREAT AND FIRST COMMANDMENT. And a SECOND is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:37-40

Without obedience, we will never come to know the truth of God's love because we will not have the truth within us. When there is no truth, our knowledge of "love" is carnally based.

Without truth, we cannot have the knowledge of His love. Without the knowledge of His love, any “love” apart from His love is counterfeit one that has no value, or place in the Kingdom of God.

Truth is the umbrella over love. When we just “love” in our words, it means nothing to God unless our deeds portray loving IN TRUTH that comes from the Holy Spirit.

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and IN TRUTH. – 1 John 3:18

God Bless.


graceinus 13 months ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

PandN- Thank you for your comment. And I do agree with you.

I believe the love our Father in heaven and our Lord Jesus Christ far exceeds the love man shows towards their fellow man. The first great commandment requires us to love God with all our heart, soul and body. Our obedience to love Him is not suggested or imply. It is commanded of us. If we truly love God then the rest, I believe, will fall into place. At the same time we as disciple are expected to love one another as Jesus loves us. I believe His love is equal to the love God in heaven has for us. Then it's exactly the same love He shouuld receive in return from us, if we are to understand John 13:34 in it's context. In other words the love God shown towards us is what should be shown to our Father in return.

The depth of His love far exceed what we are uses to seeing amoung man. I believe loving our neighbor as ourselves should be in the same manner Jesus loves us. Sadly very few, if any, has reached that level of love. But it is something we each need to strive for. I believe the love Jesus demostrated towards us is what is found in the Kingdom of heaven.

When churches teach loving our neighbor as ourselves it is based on respecting and tolerence. Because individual people want to be respected or tolerated among themselves and that is what THEY call love. Treating each another with respect and/or tolerence. It is what THEY call treating others as you would want to be treated with respect and tolerence. Now, it does state in Matthew 7:12 (NKJV) "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."

But the context of this verse is, the way Jesus had treated and loved people. He used Himself as the example of how to treat others with the kind of love you find in the Kingdom of God, but it's not realized by most "christians". His treatment of others was PERFECT. But they did not return the same treatment or love towards Him as He shown towards them. Jesus never taught on the subject of respect or tolerence towards others as an act of love. Never.

This is what Christ expects from His disciples. This is what we should be striving for as we seek His Kingdom. And when we do love our neighbor we should strive to do so in the SAME manner Jesus loves us.

Again, I am happy and greatful to receive your comment.


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 13 months ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ

Graceinus,

I’m finding that most of my conversations with institutionalized Christians will always lead to their twisting of Scripture out of context when they say “we are to love our enemies.” I had someone say this to me because I would not tolerate the sinful behavior of others.

But I say to you, LOVE your enemies and pray for those who persecute you - Matthew 5:44

This can be a hard verse to digest unless we come to understand what type of love Jesus was talking about.

I believe that any deviation from what Jesus meant is the on-ramp right back onto the wide road. What many fail to think about is who the “enemy” was that Jesus was talking about. Most will personalize their “enemy,” but don’t often think of the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ words and the audience to whom he was speaking.

The cherry-picked words was an attempt to use the “love” verse from the sermon on the Mount to compromise my firm stance on a moral principle.

The truth is that enabling someone and tolerating them in their sinful behaviours is not love at all. This is a common tactic among the religious try to muzzle the exposure of sin.

“Love” at the expense of truth is not love at all. The agape love that is the most spoken of love in the New Testament is a love that is always filtered through truth. For the indoctrinated, this type of "love" is not love at all. They create their own antichrist definition of “love" to suit their own deviant purposes.

Their “love” is made in their own carnal image ignoring the principles of the Kingdom of God.

The yeast of the gospel of tolerance and acceptance at the expense of truth is the counterfeit "love" that is promoted in the Church system today.

Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only CONTINUE to do these very things but also APPROVE of those who practice them. - Romans 1:32

Approval of people who practice sin is not love at all.

I believe that the true love of Jesus Christ is found in the principles of the Kingdom of God. That is found by seeking first the Kingdom of God and the His righteousness. Unfortunately, Kingdom principles are ignored by many, but those who walk in them their love is undeniably from God.

Thanks for the article.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 13 months ago from Houston, TX USA

PlanksandNails

Would you harm someone to make them obedient to your religious principles?


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 13 months ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ

Sorry Jay C Obrien, but I'm not taking the bait with your odd question.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 13 months ago from Houston, TX USA

PlansandNails

"Graceinus,

I’m finding that most of my conversations with institutionalized Christians will always lead to their twisting of Scripture out of context when they say “we are to love our enemies.” I had someone say this to me because I would not tolerate the sinful behavior of others."

Please explain simply. What would you not tolerate and what would you do about it?

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