Love your neighbour

This is written by Matt Coombs who is one of the leaders at St Mary's and is married to Pip.

Mark 12:30-31

30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” 31 The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.’


Here we read the two greatest commandments according to Jesus. Yep - commandments. Not suggestions. Not something to dabble with - commandments.

Love God - I’m sure most Christians are quite content with this command - it makes sense even if we’re not very good at it all the time.

But also, love our neighbours. I think we’d often like to overlook this but the fact that Jesus couples it with the first, that is so obviously weighty, means we can’t easily skip over this.

On the upside, we are not commanded to like everyone. That would be very difficult. To like someone is based on emotion, a gut reaction or a well-processed reflection on someone's character or behaviour.

Love, biblically speaking is a choice, a verb, a doing word.

For John, love is defined by Jesus on the cross laying down his life for his friends.
(1 John 4:10).

So love looks a lot like sacrifice and service and humility.

Or as Paul describes: 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Now, none of us is able to live up to this standard perfectly - right? Paul is really describing Jesus. But Jesus is our example, we carry our cross and live a life of service and sacrifice to others too.

Who do you think your neighbours are?
Who do you find difficult to love?
Who would you prefer to withhold your love from?

Try and tap into the love that God has for you today. After all, how can you love someone if you do not know the love that God has for you? God is the source of love, indeed God is love. Receive all you can, ask God to fill you to overflowing. Resolve to love others in return.
Posted in

No Comments