Loving God and Loving People
“What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. What the world needs now is love, sweet love, No not just for some but for everyone.”
~ By Jackie DeShannon, April 15, 1965
When I turn on the news or read about what is going on in the world, I can see the truth of this song. There is so much hate in our world, in our country, communities. People need to see love, experience love, the world needs to learn what love is all about.
Jesus once said that the whole law of God and the prophesies are summed up in two commandments. To love God and love people. This world would be a completely different place if we just lived out these two commandments.
On one occasion a religious man, an expert of the law stood up to test Jesus. The religious people were trying their best to trap Jesus in his own words. They would ask him all kinds of questions expecting Jesus to stumble in his own words. Luke 10:25-37
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (v.25)
Jesus’ answer: “What is written in the law, how do you read it?
The lawyer knew exactly what was written in the law and he quoted from the Torah. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Det.6:5; Lev.19:18)
To love God with all your heart (inner life, intentions, character)
Soul (seat of affection, and will, the self, breath of life)
Strength (might, power, ability)
Mind (understanding, intellect)
Love God with your whole being, everything you are)
Love your neighbor as you would love yourself.
Jesus applauded the lawyer for his answer (v.28) “You have answered correctly, do this and you will live.”
The man wanted to justify himself (to look righteous in front of Jesus)
Who is my neighbor?
Jesus’ response to illustrate to this man who your neighbor is. (v.30-36)
A man fell in hands of robbers who beat him, stripped him off his possessions and left him half dead.
– A priest was going down that road, saw the injured man, but went the other way.
– A Levite came to the place where the man was, he saw him and passed by on the other side.
The priest and Levite represented God’s servants those who were appointed to help people to connect with God. They should be the ones helping this poor injured man, but they did nothing.
But a Samaritan came to where the man was and he saw him. (Jesus mentioned a Samaritan to a Jew. Samaritans and Jews were enemies. Jews hated Samaritan so much that they would avoid traveling through Samaria.) If you were talking to a Jewish audience, never talk about Samaritans being the hero in the story)
But a Samaritan when he saw the injured man was moved to compassion (v.33) (move in the inward part). The Samaritan felt something inside for him. The priest and Levite were not moved by the scene. They showed no compassion at all. Are you moved by what you see around you? Does something inside of you cause you to stop and help the helpless? The Samaritan stopped because he was moved within. Compassion caused Jesus to help those in need. Scripture tells us that. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matt.9:36
This Samaritan was moved by compassion and stopped to help the man (v34) Bandaged his wounds pouring on oil and wine. Put the man on his donkey and took him to an inn and left some money so that he would be cared for.
Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers? (v.36)
The one who showed him mercy. (notice the lawyer does not even say the Samaritan)
You go and do likewise. You go and act like the Samaritan.
The Bible tells us that we show love for God by loving others. God loved us and had compassion on us. You showed love when you are moved to act for those in need.
1 John 3:18 God’s people are reminded in Scripture to put love to practice. “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
Who is your neighbor?
-Anyone in need of compassion, any one in need of God’s love; anyone who may be feeling helpless, abandoned. The neighbor can be anyone who opposes your political views; someone who from a different race, economic status. Someone struggling with sexual identity; The neighbors are all around you, even where you work, where you go to school, on the bus or train. They all need to experience God’s love, God’s compassion, his grace. God will use you and I to be a Samaritan to them. Go and do likewise.
We may learn a lot about God’s love and our love for others. But loving God and loving others will mean nothing if we don’t put it into practice. People don’t care how much you know until they know truly how much you care for them. God’s love and our love for others is to be lived out. Go and do likewise.