Pastor Chris Explains How Our Lord and Savior Has Enlarged the Concept of Love

What’s the second greatest command? If you’re a believer, a student of Scripture, it’s not impossible that you said something like “Adore your neighbor as yourself.” If you did, you’d be correct – almost.

Jesus himself said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all of your soul Wonderful Pastor Chris and with all your thoughts. This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it: “Adore your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39, ESV). And this was Jesus’ response to the question, “Which is the best commandment in Regulations?” – referring, to the Law of Moses, naturally.

People come to me, Pastor Chris, as head of Christ Embassy and have questions about the most important commandment. Until Jesus came, the 2nd greatest command as mentioned in the Old Testament (Leviticus 19) was completely decent. Actually, I believe it was the best we could hope for in terms of loving another human being.

But throw to the mix the actual fact that occasionally we do love ourselves. Sometimes we can genuinely struggle to enjoy what we are, who we are, and certainly what we do. How can we be expected to love others if we do understand how to love ourselves as we love ourselves? There are days when many of us struggle simply to be pleasant to ourselves. So how can we love better? Jesus gives the reply.

In the gospel of John, Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you personally, that you love one another: Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” The bar has been raised by Jesus. Not that he’s made it harder to love (quite the reverse: With this particular order he also promises to pour out the love of God into our hearts from the Holy Spirit, thus enabling us to love beyond human capacity), but the idea of love itself has been raised!


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