Love Your Neighbor

Commands of Jesus Series

Matthew 22:39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Romans 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone–except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.

That is a pretty amazing command, think about what Jesus is saying, he taught us that everybody around us that has a need is somebody that we need to be neighbors with. And then he tells us that loving those neighbors is almost as important a command as loving God.

That’s enormous, we can all agree that loving God is really important but for me to care about my neighbor almost as much as God that is absurd from a human point of view. God, do you really remember how I was treated, did you see what happened the last time I went out on a limb to help somebody? Chances are that your neighbor isn’t Fred Rogers.

To live by Jesus rule requires for me to speak and act out of great love for my neighbor, Adam Clarke’s Bible Commentary says:

By this rule we are taught to bear with, love, and forgive him; to rejoice in his felicity, mourn in his adversity, desire and delight in his prosperity, and promote it to the utmost of our power: instruct his ignorance, help him in his weakness, and risk even our life for his sake, and for the public good. In a word, we must do every thing in our power, through all the possible varieties of circumstances, for our neighbors, which we would wish them to do for us, were our situations reversed.

This is so opposite of our human reasoning that I will have to work on applying it until the Lord takes me home.

Lord, it seems almost impossible to live out this rule, it is too easy to give my neighbor what he deserves rather than showing him grace and mercy. Help me to show grace and mercy just as abundantly as you showed it to me.