The Second Great Commandment

You Shall Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

There have been many articles, books, written about the commandments of God. Many of these writings in these articles and books have been mostly on the 10 Commandments handed down to Moses from God. In this article I will focus on a commandment mentioned by Jesus Christ that is often heard but less understood. It is most often used by those within the christian faith although many non-christian have mentioned this commandment a time or two.

What is the second great commandment?

The first time Jesus Christ mentions the second great commandment is in Matthew 22:39 (NKJV) which states: 39 "And the second is like it; You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

In this commandment Jesus Christ commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Which, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ it would be unwise not to follow this command. But in order to follow this command shouldn't we first know who and what is our neighbor? How is a neighbor defined. What did Jesus Christ mean by neighbor. Is it simplely the family next door? Are neighbors limited to those who live on the same street? Just how far and wide are our neighbors? Are there limits or conditions to neighbors that Jesus commanded us to love?

I am the neighbor of my neighbor.

It is safe to assume this second great commandment applies to all of us. And based on this commandment my neighbor should love me also. But is there something about me that would or could cause my neighbor to hate me? Does the second great commandment give any room for my neighbor to hate me for any reason? The answer to both questions is; No.

Sins of our neighbor (and mine)

I can not think of any neighbor whose sins are any greater or less than my own. We must learn and understand that each of us have sined. But that is not what this article is about. However, there are some who have determined to base their love or lack thereof on their neighbor's sin or sins. As if the neighbor's sin, what ever it is, will determine the love they may or may not get. Where would mankind be if Jesus had done the same thing. What if Jesus had to pick and choose of those whose sins He would or would not die for. Then what good would the second great commandment be?

A perfect neighbor

Try to imagine having a neighbor who was sent by God to spread the gospel of the Kingdom and this neighbor knew every one of your sins. This neighbor also knows every thoughts of your heart. Imagine this neighbor who talks about God and how much we should love Him. Then this neighbor tell us how we should love each other. Imagine this neighbor has never committed a sin himself, but instead, forgive those who do. Imagine this neighbor loving each of us regardless of our faults and falacies. Imagine this same neighbor, who was sent to us by His Father, who would be hated by some without cause. Now, imagine this neighbor dying for all his neighbors sins.

Our Father in heaven sent His Son Jesus Christ to this earth to show us a living example of the Kingdom of God. Jesus Christ set the standard by which we should live by. He has shown us how important love is in the Kingdom of God. He also revealed how important it is to love all our neighbors. Love is the requirement for both of the greatest commandments. The second of which is toward our neighbor.

Many of the questions asked above can be answered by making this statemant. "Wheresoever the sons of man dwell, there also are your neighbors."

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Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

And let that stone that I cast be cast upon another be cast upon my own abdomen that the shame i feel is the same shame I should.

We easily forget our role and look to the role of another, let us not do that but love one another. e

graceinus 2 years ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

Eric- Thank you for your visit and comment. It is important for all of us to know how love for our neighbor is tied into spreading the gospel of the Kingdom of God. With out love it would be most difficult if not impossible.

God bless and again thanks

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

Well-written and well thought out. Hoping this shines a Light of Love in the hearts of many devotees of the Lord. Peace.

graceinus 2 years ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

manatita44- Thank you for your kind words and comment. It is through love that I enjoy spreading the gospel of the Kingdom of God to our neighbors. It it one of the most important aspect of the christian faith. Peace and many blessing to you.

PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 2 years ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ


Many have no clue about the second commandment. They are too busy with their religious works and high-fiving their own.

For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? - Matthew 5:46

Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” - Luke 10:36-37

Many have failed in two of the most important areas of every true believer. One is that they have no clue who their neighbors are. Second, they are defiled by the world's traditions.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. - James 1:27

Those who are in need are our neighbors. Those who don't know this, how can they say that they know Jesus.

Jesus did not define neighbor the same as the dictionary. He said our neighbor is someone lying in a ditch.

It shouldn't take too long to realize those who follow the same example of the Priest and Levite are those too busy "worshiping" to love their neighbor.

graceinus 2 years ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

PandN- Thank you very much for your comment. In this parable that Jesus talks about where He scribes the man who fell among thieves in Luke 10:30-36 actually discribes two neighbors not just one. The one neighbor badly injured and lying in the ditch after he had been robbed. And the neighbor who shown compassion and mercy by coming to his aid.

As the story line goes, not only did the good neighbor come to the injured man's aid but also offered to pay the cost to the inn keeper to stay until the injured man had a full recovery. This is an example of the Kingdom of God. There is much love shown in this parable. The good neighbor went beyound simple help of treating the man's injuries, but went so far as to carry him to a place where the injured man would be safe until such time he would recover. This is one example of what loving your neighbor is like in the Kingdom of God. Going beyound the minimum.

There is much that can be learned from this parable.

Again thanky and many blessings.

PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 2 years ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ


The words of Jesus Christ have so much depth, and as they are read over and over again, there is so much more to glean from them.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. - Matthew 5:43-44

I believe it is important to know the accurate definition of love that is used in the New Testament. Agape love is not as simple as saying, "We must all go around just loving one another." It is a type of love that is a tough to walk out because it is under the umbrella of truth that is principled in how we respond bringing the best intentions towards our fellow man.

Thank-you for writing this article. God Bless

BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

I love the angle that we are also our neighbour's neighbour. Great thought and something to think about in our relationships. It's not only 'do unto others' but to react and accept in a neighbourly and loving way, too.

graceinus 2 years ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

PandN- Thanks again for your comment. As mortal beings it is most difficult for us to fully understand the extent of agape love. Without a doubt Jesus Christ revealed it to us during His ministry. It would seem most likely that the best example of it was His willingness to die for us. He stated in John 15:12-13 (NKJV) which states: 12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."

Thank you PandN for all your comments.

graceinus 2 years ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

BlossomSB- Thanks for your comment and visit. I have often thought about this idea that we are our neighbor's neighbor when I began to understand the second great commeandment. It make sense as we seek understanding of His Kingdom.

God bless.

graceinus 22 months ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

Livia- I just read your comment you posted 3 weeks ago and I should have noticed it sooner. Thank you for your comment. And God bless

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