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Love & Relationships

Love One Another: What Jesus Meant According to the Bible

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Our best gift from God is love.

All throughout the Bible, God instructs us to love one another, which is the greatest commandment He gives us. 

But what does it mean to love one another? 

Trying to offer love to everyone can seem difficult at first. Human nature is to avoid situations or people that make us uncomfortable or angry. Yet, God commands us to accept the difficulties and love others anyway. As followers of Jesus, we're commanded to be brave and to share his love with everyone we encounter.

In this article, we’ll talk about what it means to love one another as Jesus loves us.

Love one another meaning

During the Last Supper in the New Testament, Jesus gave his disciples a simple commandment: 

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34–35). 

Why did Jesus give this new command? 

Jesus wants his followers to care for one another in the deepest sense. Love ought to be the hallmark of a Christian life. Because of God's love for us, we should love each other also.

In his letters, Jesus' disciple John frequently referred to love for others. For example:

 "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. … And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother" (1 John 4:10–11, 21). 

Here, the phrase “love one another" doesn’t merely refer to our fellow believers. Following Christ means loving all of God's creatures on this earth with deep, sincere love. Christ’s love is an important example of the way we are to love one another, and we should strive to emulate this type of love in our own lives. 

Jesus unified all people with one thing: the love of God. Through that love, we can relate to the people around us, even when it feels challenging.

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What does the Bible say about love?

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Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say about love.

“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.” Matthew 22:37-40). 

In this scripture, Jesus tells his disciples of the first and second greatest commandments. 

His commandments were novel to ancient Israel. To them, these statements were radical — they understood the concept of obedience more than that of radical love. At the time, most people would have been expected to obey a law or commandment blindly or suffer the consequences.  

And God does expect obedience. In fact, it is through obedience to Him that we can display love: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). 

Jesus also said, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another” (John 13:34). 

And in God’s word, the apostle Paul tells us, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10).

Paul's interpretation of Jesus' command that love fulfills the law further displays that love and obedience are deeply intertwined. Being loving toward one another fulfills God’s commandment and His grand plan. 

As long as we love everyone as an individual, we'll never wish to hurt or violate them, and we'll never break God’s law.

There's no greater legacy than love. And love is so much deeper than we realize. It can move mountains, heal hearts, and brighten people’s days.

How do we love one another?

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Jealousy, envy, and toxic comparison dominate the world we live in. 

Today, we seem to care more about our numbers on social media than about the individuals behind those numbers. Occasionally, we strive to destroy others in order to get ahead. 

In other instances, our focus is on how to outdo our friends or neighbors by getting the latest and greatest gadget or clothing item. 

Love, empathy, and compassion seem to have been forgotten in this fast-paced world.

Though Jesus spoke to his disciples and told them “love one another,” Christians might argue that they are only compelled to love other Christians. 

But this isn’t true.

Jesus went above and beyond the standard of loving our Christian brothers and sisters. The message of his ministry was clear: love your neighbor as yourself. 

No matter what language you speak, what faith you follow, or what values you hold dear, it doesn't matter. God commands us to love all of His creations. 

Your Father in heaven wants your focus to be love. He wants you to love and pray for those who persecute you. No matter how good or how evil we are, we are all God's children.

Who will benefit if you merely love those who love you? What makes you different from others if you greet only your own people? 

Although it may be difficult, God calls on us to pick up the challenge.

“Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48).

Love others as God loves us

Loving others is the most important thing we'll ever do. 

Jesus commanded his disciples to love one another during the hours before his death.

It had come time for Jesus to leave, and he chose to instruct them, and us as well, to love one another dearly. Loving one another is the most profound lesson that God and Christ ever taught.

There's no greater love than that which comes from Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Love is embodied in Jesus Christ. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus reveal to us what love is. To follow Christ faithfully, the most important thing a Christian can do is love one another.

For more about love, download the app in the iOS App Store or Google Play.

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