Love others as I have loved you, commands Jesus

Diocese needs Marriage & Family Life Co-ordinator
July 2, 2022
Experts share wisdom on cherishing historic buildings
July 4, 2022
Show all

Love others as I have loved you, commands Jesus

In the latest in his Voice of Hope series Fr Alvan Ibeh looks at Jesus command to “love others as I have loved you”.


Last month we reminded ourselves how deep the Father’s Love is for us all. Can I remind you again that you are especially loved by God just like you are? You do not need to do anything special to earn His Love “because God has poured His Love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us” (Romans 5:5).

Ordinarily, when we love someone, we expect that they love us back. Hence we will always say love is reciprocal. So it is likely that Jesus would have told us, “Love me as I have loved you”, because “He loved us first” (1John 4:19). Instead, He said, “A new command I give you: love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34). This means the only way we can reciprocate God’s love for us is by loving one another. This is because each of us is made in the image and likeness of God. So no matter where you come from, no matter your tribe, or your colour, or your creed, we are all created in the image and likeness of God. When we love one another, not just those known to us or those who love us, but everyone, we truly love God.

But is it possible to love God with all our hearts and still have hatred for someone? Humanly speaking it is, but with God that is not possible. God is Love, and in Him, there is no hatred. God can’t be full of hate for others. You can’t mix water and oil, can you? So also love and hatred can’t co-habit. The scripture in 1 John 4:20 says that, “whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. To say I love God and yet do not want to see the other person because of hate deceives me as a Christian”.

For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. None of us for sure has seen God before, but we believe by faith that He exists. So it wouldn’t make sense to say I love God, yet I have hatred for someone else.

I know someone may be coming up in your mind, someone you don’t like anything about him or someone you can’t just stand their presence. I know it’s easier said than done, right? Of course, it is almost impossible to love everyone, especially those who have hurt us badly as human beings.

To love others is a command given by God – it has no condition attached to it. He said we must love others as He has loved us. He didn’t say we “may” love others; He said we “must” love others. Even our enemies, those who have hurt us so badly, He said, “Love your enemies and do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great in heaven, and you will be children of the highest”(Luke 6:35- 36).

Earlier in that same passage, Jesus said, “But to you who are listening I say: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who cure you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28).

Humanly speaking, we can’t love the way God wants us to. Love is divine. Therefore, we should always ask Him to help us love as He has loved us, for cut off from Him, we can do nothing. Finally, we gain nothing by hating anyone; we lose everything, happiness, joy, peace of mind, health, and even heaven at last.

But when we love, even if people see us as fools, we are fools for Christ’s sake, and we lose nothing for loving others as Christ has loved us. Which one do you choose? Love or hate? Come Holy Spirit and fill the heart of the faithful, and enkindle in us the unquenchable fire of your love.

passage, Jesus said, “But to you who are listening I say: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who cure you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28).

Humanly speaking, we can’t love the way God wants us to. Love is divine. Therefore, we should always ask Him to help us love as He has loved us, for cut off from Him, we can do nothing. Finally, we gain nothing by hating anyone; we lose everything, happiness, joy, peace of mind, health, and even heaven at last.

But when we love, even if people see us as fools, we are fools for Christ’s sake, and we lose nothing for loving others as Christ has loved us. Which one do you choose? Love or hate? Come Holy Spirit and fill the heart of the faithful, and enkindle in us the unquenchable fire of your love.

Image by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay

Comments