The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31 NIV
We like to skim right over the “as yourself” part of Jesus’ commandment, but that’s really what makes it a signature Jesus statement.
It is one thing to love others, but it is a whole other thing to love them as you love yourself. I don’t know about you, but I can be pretty darn good to myself.
Jesus Takes Love to the Extreme
It is always in the way that Jesus tells us to put our Christianity into action that he sets Himself (and us) apart.
Look at what Jesus tells His followers:
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35-35 NIV
Loving God was an Old Testament command, but “love one another” is new and it is radical. He says it three times in back-to-back sentences so, He was obviously trying to make a point. In my head, I imagine his voice getting a little bolder and louder and more passionate each time He says it. Try it. It has a powerful effect.
You might ask, “How is loving our neighbors and others radical?”
It is all in HOW you do it:
- You are to love people as you love yourself. (Matthew 22:39)
- You are to love genuinely. (Romans 12:9)
- You are to love those you don’t like. (Matthew 5:43-44)
- You are to love those no one else will love. (Luke 10:29-37)
- You are to love others with your money. (Acts 2:45)
- You are to love with actions not just words. (1 John 3:18)
- You are to love by serving one another. (Galatians 5:13-14)
- You are to humble yourself and wash their feet. (John 13:14)
- You are to infinitely forgive people. (Matthew 18:21-22)
- You are to share in their burdens. (Galatians 6:2-3)
- Husbands are to love your wives sacrificially. (Ephesians 5:25)
- Wives are to submit lovingly to your husbands. (Ephesians 5:22)
AND, when Jesus instructs you to “Love your neighbor” and “Love one another”, He isn’t talking about just those that make it easy.
If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?
Matthew 5:46 NLT
ALSO, don’t forget, Jesus knows everyone’s heart. He can spot a fraud a mile away.
Are you beginning to see how the love we, as Christ Followers, are to show is radically and thoroughly different?
The world simply doesn’t love like this. The world demands. The world expects. The world insists.
You are not the world. You and I are different. We are redeemed, renewed, transformed, victorious Christ Followers. Pick someone today and let them see the radical, unexplainable love of Jesus.