Love Like Jesus!

The last thing Jesus said to His disciples as He left this earth was:

“… Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20, NLT)

One thing we often miss in this passage is what Jesus meant when He said:

“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.” (Matthew 28:19, NLT)

We look at this and usually think 10 Commandments – which Jesus did in fact give us. But, while He was here on earth, He was much more focused on how we treated each other than on any of the 10 commandments.

When asked about the most important commandment, He didn’t pick any of the 10. He said:

“The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31, NLT)

The commandments are about relationships. The rules are there to help us better understand what our relationships should or shouldn’t look like.

Later in His ministry, when He described the judgement He made it clear that those who practice a lifestyle of loving others by caring for their needs (food, shelter, comfort, etc.) will be the ones who make it to Heaven. And, those who are too busy taking care of themselves while ignoring the needs of others will not. (See Matthew 25:31-46.) Again, stressing relationships over rules.

The last time He was with the disciples before His death, He said:

“… I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:33-35, NLT)

His followers, He said, would be known by the supernatural love they had for others, demonstrated through their loving actions!

So when He says:

“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.” (Matthew 28:19, NLT)

He is really telling us as Christians is to teach new believers to love like Jesus!

This isn’t something you generally learn in a weekend seminar. This is something you learn by observing and doing.

Which means if we’re going to teach others to do this, we need to be doing it ourselves – so how are you doing at this?

I understand, me neither – loving this way is hard. In fact, it is impossible apart from a deep connection with Jesus. I urge you to prayerfully consider this passage written by Paul:

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. (Ephesians 3:16-20, NLT)