“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40).
As I was reading through John Piper’s What Jesus Demands from the World, the overwhelming and staggering nature of Jesus’ second commandment to “love our neighbor as yourself” sinks in. Piper explains it this way:
The second commandment seems to me to be an overwhelming commandment. It seems to demand that I tear the skin off my body and wrap it around another person so that I feel that I am that other person; and all the longings that I have for my own safety and health and success and happiness I now feel for that other person as though he were me. It is an absolutely staggering commandment. If this is what it means, then something unbelievably powerful and earth shaking and reconstructing and overturning and upending will have to happen in our souls. Something supernatural. Something well beyond what self-preserving, self-enhancing, self-exalting, self-esteeming, self-advancing, fallen human beings like me can do on their own.
I’ve got a long way to go in loving my neighbor. But I’m moving in the right direction because I know I can’t “naturally” love this kind of way. It takes God’s Spirit to transform my heart to live, look, and love like Jesus does. It takes the God’s Spirit to help me see my neighbors the way He sees my neighbors. It takes God’s Spirit to empower and encourage me to share Jesus’ gospel with them. How are you doing with Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself”?