Love Our Neighbour As Ourself
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, ye must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13.34-35 (NIV)
Are you and I commanded to love our neighbour as ourselves?
The answer may surprise you.
We hear much in Christian circles about the ten commandments, but are the ten sufficient for a Christian to live his or her life by? The great Sinai agreement was between an unconverted slave people and God Almighty. It was wonderful and designed to regulate a nation in ways they had never known in Egypt, but when Jesus Christ came he said, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago… but I say unto you…” (Matthew 5:21, 27,31,33, etc). Jesus raised the stakes and told Christians that they were to go much further than just ‘loving God and their neighbour as themselves’. He says in John 15:12-13, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” In other words, following Christ (Christianity) requires more than human love only.
This was something entirely new and only available since the arrival of Jesus on this Planet. Here the Greek word for love is Agape – a special kind of love that enables Christians to love their enemies and even to die for them. In other words, love of the unlovable. The love Christ had and lived by. Romans 5:8 tells us that, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
We are also to exhibit this advanced love, and we can now that Christ lives in us.
Thank you Father for sending Jesus and showing us a greater way to love. Please help us to always ask for this love that you have, so that it can be in us, and help us to remember that it comes to this planet from you alone, enabling us to have the attitude Jesus has towards other people.
Study by Tony Goudie