Loving your neighbor is God’s commandment

Last updated on April 19, 2021

10 Biblical quotes about love

‘“Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”’ (Mark 12:28-31)

The Bible, especially the Old Testament, contains many commandments of God. They have multiple purposes. The most obvious purpose of God’s laws is to guide people’s behavior. The Lord wants his people to behave in certain ways.

A second function of God’s laws is to help people gain insight in the problem of their sinful hearts. Whoever tries earnestly to obey God’s commandments, has to acknowledge that he doesn’t manage to live up to God’s standards. He needs to have his heart cleansed from sin — and that is exactly what the Lord is so very willing to do!

When asked what the major commandments are, Jesus mentions two: loving God and loving your neighbor. These two, like the other commandments, have the double function to motivate us to ‘do the right thing’, and to make us aware of our inability to love wholeheartedly, so that we may acknowledge our need for the Holy Spirit to cleanse and renew us.

Please take a moment to reflect on your life in light of this commandment. Do you love people around you? Which aspects of your life still need renewal?

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