Love One Another

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As I was listening to the news recently one of the top stories was about a young man, a husband and father, who was killed after being robbed. I wish I could say that this was an anomaly; however, this is very common. We have lost concern for one another’s life.

During February, everyone focuses on love. We are inundated with commercials, and television and newspaper ads for chocolate, flowers and jewelry. Women look forward to the gifts and other expressions of love on February 14 while men complain that the holiday was created to spend money. Singles sometimes become depressed about being lonely. But there is another kind of love that the Bible spends a lot of time discussing, the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself.

In Luke 10:25-37 Jesus describes this commandment. He begins by saying that the first commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, then love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus is then asked to clarify, “Who is my neighbor?” Is it the person who lives next door, maybe even the people your neighborhood? What about the people who live across town, people from different religions and ethnic groups or socio economic status than you? Are those people really my neighbor? Yes.

The parable begins with a man being robbed, beaten and left for dead while traveling. During the day, three people pass this man, two walk on the other side totally ignoring the man and his needs while one man from an ethnic group that is hated by this man, sees the man in need and is filled with compassion. So he stops, bandages his wounds then takes him to an inn where he cares for his wounds. When he has to leave, he pays the innkeeper to care for the man while he is gone and promises to pay any additional money required when he returns. After telling the parable, Jesus asks, who treated the person as his neighbor? And the answer was the last person who showed mercy to the man’s needs. Jesus then tells the crowd to go and do likewise.

This should not be foreign to us. We see people hurting and in need daily, perhaps someone stranded on the side of the highway. Do we stop and help? There are simple needs we can address, the student in class who always looks confused and discouraged while you are getting an A. Or the frustrated young mother who longs for a simple nap but cannot because there is no one to watch her kids while she rests.

This commandment means so much to Jesus that before His death, He stresses these words to His disciples. In John 13:34-35 He says ““A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”” Is that love seen in you?

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