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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