Love is a common theme throughout Scripture. We hear all the time we need to love one another and love everyone. Well what exactly does that look like? How exactly are we supposed to love? We know we are supposed to love like Jesus, so what does that look like? Fortunately for us, Scripture tells us exactly what that looks like and we are going to discover that in this study. We are going to fully understand what it means to love like Jesus loved. So let us begin our study.
We must realize the command that we are supposed to love as Jesus loved. This is found in John 13:34-35, “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.” We are to love one another as Jesus loved us. So let us see what that looks like.
We are going to look at several passages to discover what love looks like. The first passage we are going to discuss is Matthew 5:43-45 which says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” There are two revolutionary ideas in this passage. The world tells us it’s good to love those who love us but we shouldn’t love those who don’t love us because they don’t deserve our love. We’re told not to love those who treat us bad and in our minds we justify that fact. But right here in this passage, Jesus blows our minds away. He totally revolutionizes and challenges the way we think. Jesus tells us to not only love our enemies but also pray for those who persecute us and treat us poorly. Why would we do something like that? That’s the complete opposite of what we’re told to do in this world. Why would we pray for those who persecute us? Because that’s the way Jesus loved. Jesus died on the cross knowing many would not follow or believe in Him. That is love.
John 15:12-13 says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus laid down his life for all of mankind. He sacrificed himself for men that would deny ever knowing him and men who would betray him. Why would someone do something like that? Because Jesus loves us and He loved them. He loved them so much he was willing to give His life for them and for us. What a wonderful blessing it is and such a powerful example of love.
In this world, we are told that we can love ourselves and it’s acceptable because we deserve it. But Scripture sheds a different light on the subject. Matthew 22:34-40 says, “Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “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.” Jesus tells us to love God first and wholeheartedly. But then He tells us something else. He tells us to love our neighbor as we love ourself. That is powerful. As much as we love ourselves, we are supposed to love those around us just as much. That’s contradictory to what the world tells us. Society tells us to put ourselves first or we may miss the mark. However, it is not so. We are supposed to love each other just as much as ourselves. That is what love looks like.
Matthew 20:25-28 is the last passage we will look at. It reads, “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Here it is. The big blow. We have to become less. We must humble ourselves and serve others. You may be thinking ‘how can this be?’. Society tells us we have to be first. If you’re not first, you’re last. Nobody likes to be last. Don’t get trampled on, don’t get left behind or you won’t make it. The world tells us these things, yet God tells us to be humble and to serve. Why? Because that’s loving like Jesus loved. Matthew 23:12 says, “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” If we humble ourselves in this life, we will be exalted in heaven.
In conclusion, loving like Jesus is hard. It’s not easy to love as Jesus loved, but we must strive for it. Loving like Jesus loves means we would give our life for one another, we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. It means loving those around us as we love ourselves and humbling ourselves and serving others. Jesus revolutionized the way we think about love. He is the ultimate example of love, and we should strive to follow it.