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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