Love - what Jesus said about it


In Mark 12:28, a teacher of religion asked Jesus which of the commandments was the most important to follow. Jesus mentioned two commandments: one from Deuteronomy 6:5, the other from Leviticus 19:18. Both had to do with love. Why is love so important? Jesus said that all of the commandments were given for two simple reasons: to help us love God and love others as we should.

Jesus also taught about "The Good Samaritan".

The Good Samaritan Inn stands beside the road from Jerusalem to Jericho - a lonely stretch of road which winds down from Jerusalem at the top of Mount Moriah into the rift valley - some four thousand feet or more in a little over twelve miles. Perhaps you remember the story of the "Good Samaritan" told by Jesus? Samaritans were hated by the Jews and it was rare for either to associate with the other, so this story was particularly challenging.

A Collection of Attitudes

First of all, read the parable of the "Good Samaritan". (Luke 10:25-37)

The needs of others bring out various attitudes in us. Jesus used the story of the good, but despised, Samaritian to make clear what attitude was acceptable to him. If we are honest, we will often find ourselves in the place of the lawyer, needing to learn again who our neighbour is. Note these different attitudes toward the wounded man:

To the lawyer, the wounded man was a subject to discuss.
To the thieves, the wounded man was someone to use and exploit.
To the religious men, the wounded man was a problem to be avoided.
To the innkeeper, the wounded man was a customer to serve for a fee.
To the Samaritan, the wounded man was a human being worth being cared for and loved.
To Jesus, all of them and all of us were worth dying for.

What else did Jesus say about love?

  • God loves us. (John 3:16)
  • We are to love God. (Matthew 22:37)
  • Because God loves us, He cares for us. (Matthew 6:25-34)
  • God wants everyone to know how much He loves them. (John 17:23)
  • God loves even those who hate Him; we are to do the same. (Matthew 5:43-47; Luke 6:35)
  • God seeks out even those most alienated from Him. (Luke 15:1-32)
  • God must be our first love. (Matthew 6:24; 10:37)
  • We love God when we obey Him. (John 14:21; 15:10)
  • God loves Jesus His Son. (John 5:20; 10:17)
  • Jesus loves God. (John 14:31)
  • Those who refuse Jesus don't have God's love. (John 5:41-44)
  • Jesus loves us just as God loves Jesus. (John 15:9)
  • Jesus proved His love for us by dying on the cross so that we could live eternally with Him. (John 3:14-15; John 15:13-14)
  • The love between God and Jesus is the perfect example of how we are to love others. (John 17:21-26)
  • We are to love one another (John 13:34-35) and demonstrate that love. (Matthew 5:40-42; 10:42)
  • We are not to love the praise of others (John 12:43), selfish recognition (Matthew 23:6), earthly belongings (Luke 16:19-31), or anything more than God Himself. (Luke 16:13)
  • Jesus wants us to love Him through both good and difficult times. (Matthew 26:31-35)
  • Jesus wants our love to be genuine. (John 21:15-17)