If you go to The Shepherd’s Fellowship (where I pastor), this post is not a shocker for you. We have talked about these verses a lot, including this past week. I remember the first time I put these verses together, it made a huge impact on me and so I thought I’d share it here too.
The first set of verses are these….
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: 36-40
The second verse is this….
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13: 34
When I read these together, I see three main points that stand out to me….
– Love God
– Love others as Jesus loved us
– Love ourselves as Jesus loved us
I think the part that got me before was this; if I just went with the first verse, it might not be all that impactful. If I glaze over the depth of love that Christ calls us to for our God (which would be a catastrophe) and I don’t love myself, then I don’t have much challenging not loving you much either.
However, if I open myself up to that type of relationship with God; that kind of deep love then I start to understand Jesus’ definition of love. I add in the verse from John and I start to see how deeply Jesus loves me. As I start to grasp that, I realize He is calling me to not only to love others with that kind of love but that I am suppose to love myself at that level as well! I think if we are really honest about it, loving ourselves as Jesus has loved us is probably the toughest part. At least it is for me.
I know for others, the hardest part could just be loving God. I know maybe it is a past hurt, a trust someone abused, or a church that didn’t act upon the love we are speaking of here. If that describes you, touch base. I’d be honered to be able to talk more with you.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3: 16