Jesus Christ is rightly regarded as the most important person for
helping us understand love.  Especially at this time of year, it seems
wise to ponder the love of Jesus.

Jesus lived about two thousand years ago in present-day Israel and
Palestine.  Almost all that is known about Jesus comes from the New
Testament.  Four books – Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John – are accounts of
his birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection.  In other New
Testament books and in writings produced in the past two millennia, many
have interpreted and developed Jesus’ love legacy.

Jesus drew upon teachings from his Jewish heritage to offer what many
consider the central insight of his ministry.  Matthew records this
insight in these words: “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your
heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the
greatest and first commandment.  And a second is like it: ‘You shall
love your neighbor as yourself.’”  Jesus adds, “Upon these two
commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Mt. 22:37-40).  Mark’s
version of the same insight concludes with Jesus adding that there are
no greater commandment than these two (Mk. 12:31).

In the book of Luke, Jesus is asked what must be done to inherit
eternal life.  Jesus answers with these same two love commandments.  The
questioner responds to Jesus, however, by asking who one’s neighbor
might be.

Read more at For the Love of Wisdom and the Wisdom of Love.

Thomas Jay Oord

Thomas Jay Oord teaches at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho. He blogs at For the Love of Wisdom and the Wisdom of Love, part of the CCblogs network.

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