More About Jesus – His Commands Part Two

Mat 22:37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Mat 22:38  This is the first and great commandment.

Mat 22:39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Jesus said that every commandment from God to man can be put into two categories.  Love God and Love man.  Last week we looked at some of the commands that involved loving God.  Today we are going to look at some of the Commands to love man.

I  What does love mean.

Like the man who asked Jesus, who is my neighbor, there are many who want to look for loopholes.  Some will say, but what is love.  Many will hold to the belief that love is strictly the feeling of the heart.  This lets them say they love without doing anything.  This is not the definition of love according to the Bible.   And still others will hold to a false multi-level definition of love.  One that lets them get away with loving their fellow man in a very minimal way.

It is very important if we are to really understand the command to love to get a Biblical definition of love.  How does the Bible define it?  A basic rule of language that most have conveniently forgotten is that Context defines meaning.  That is why dictionaries have meanings 1, 2, 3, and so on.  So let’s looks at the context in the Bible.  There is no better place to start than John 3:16.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,

Here we see a connection between loved and gave.  We do not see just an emotional feeling.  We see action and sacrifice.  He loved so He did something.  His love was greater than the cost, so He acted.  Biblical love works and sacrifices.  We see the same thing in the verses where Jesus directly commands us to love one another.

John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Jesus commands that we love one another in a like manner as He loved us.  He says, “as I have loved you.”  And then He brings up how He loved us by going to the cross.  Once again we see love defined as an acting sacrificing love.  Jesus made it very clear that the love we are commanded to love with is an acting sacrificing love.

And then in verse 14 he ties relationship to obedience.  We saw it before with the brief look at some of the commands to love God.  Those commands also involved action and sacrifice.  And that being disobedient or neglecting Him will have consequences upon the relationship.  Not on your salvation, but consequences to your walk with God.

Let us look at some examples of how Jesus loved others.

II  Examples of Jesus Loving Others

Jesus did not just love once.  He did not confine His love to one event or one moment in time.  The cross was the ultimate expression of a love that is constant.  And since Jesus commands that we love others like He loved, we need to take a look at His example.

a. Woman at the well.

John 4:4 And he must needs go through Samaria.

Jesus made the trip for her.  He sacrificed His time and made the trip so she would not go to hell.

b. The man of Gadarenes.  Luke 8:22

Jesus tells His disciples let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.  A big storm hits. You know the story.  When they get to the other side they find that they made the trip for a demon possessed man.  Jesus saves the man.  Afterwards they get back on the boat and go back across the lake.

Jesus loved that man.  The trip was made for that man.  He put the disciples thru a lot of work so He could reach that man.  The love of Jesus reached His soul for eternity.  But it did more than that.  It changed his life.  He was hurting himself.  He was tormented with demons.  After Jesus saved him, he is now clothed and sitting in his right mind.   No longer is he hurting himself or others.  This once ruined vessel that was good for nothing, is now transformed into a useful servant of Christ.  He is left to witness for Jesus.

Luk 8:38  Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,

Luk 8:39  Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.

Jesus was teaching many things to His disciples.   That reaching people takes effort.  You will have to endure some things.  That the Love of Jesus reaches to even the most hopeless looking cases.  And about the transforming power that Jesus has to completely change a life.

We see in Marks account how this was all done out of compassion.

Mar_5:19  Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

The love of Jesus is an acting, working love, and we are commanded to love the same way.

c. Touching lepers

You see His love every time you see Him heal a leper.  A person that no one else would touch.  He healed the blind and the lame and the woman with the issue of blood.

Mat_14:14  And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

If we are loving with His love, then we will also care about the sick.

d. Compassion upon widows

His love cares about those who are hurting.

Luk 7:12  Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.

Luk 7:13  And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.

Luk 7:14  And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.

Luk 7:15  And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.

She is a widow, she has no husband to care for her and now her only son was dead.  She was weeping.  The love of Jesus cared and acted.  His eye is upon the widow.  And we are to love with His love.    We should also care about those who are hurting.

e. Suffer the children

Mat 19:14  But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus loves children.  He wants them to come to Him.

f. Feeding the hungry

Mat_15:32  Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.

We see here that the love of Jesus extends to the basic needs of man.  He had compassion upon their hunger.  To love like Jesus loved, which is His command.  That is the goal, then we should at some level be loving in all of these areas.  Seeking souls, having compassion on the sick and widows, caring about those that are hurting, helping the poor and the fatherless.

Looking at the life of Jesus we see a love that never stopped.  And we are told to love the same way.  We are not to approach this as some dry duty and then work to hit some quota and then stop.  And we see that His love was extended to both the spiritual needs of people and the practical physical needs as well.  His love reached out to all people.  Many of which were rejected by others.

I have been stressing the working sacrificing aspect of the commandment, because people often get that wrong.  But make no mistake this love we are commanded to love with, must come from the heart.

III  The Only Way To Keep This Commandment

In fact the only way to love the way we are commanded is to love with His love.  Some describe it as letting His love flow thru us.  We can’t love this way in the flesh.  We need the Spirit of God to do the work.   The kind of love we are talking about is actually a fruit of the Spirit.

Gal 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Gal 5:23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

The Spirit will only work and let His love flow thru us if He is not grieved.

Mat 22:37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Mat 22:38  This is the first and great commandment.

Mat 22:39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

So to be able to obey the second commandment, you must first take care of the first.  You must keep your relationship with God close.  You must be truly walking with Him and loving Him.

You do that and you will find the ability to love others with a biblical working love.

Gal_6:10  As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

God will enable you to do good to all men.  That would include all the unbelievers.  And then it says we are to take special care to do good to believers.

1Jn_3:17  But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

We are to love with a love that works.  You see it over and over again in the Word of God.

1Pe_3:8  Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

The kind of love we are talking about today has no room for gossip, being rude, giving silent treatments, and so on.

Jesus never commands us to do something without providing a way to be obedient.  He will enable us, He will give us the ability to love.  We just have to walk close to Him, and be willing to be used as a vessel of His great love to love our neighbor as ourselves.

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