Matthew 22:39-40 the Second Greatest Commandment

Who is my Neighbor?

Read Luke 10:25-37

The Lawyer wanted to know the Loop Hole so that he would not have to love everyone equally.  I’m not sure if this was recorded after what was taught in Matthew because it seems that this was another test because the man answered the way Jesus did in Matthew, but then asked another question.

Your Neighbor is anyone that God puts in your path

When we study the Good Samaritan it has caused some people to do for people even though those people did not need the help. Some people jump into your path (do you have a dollar) so you have to weigh out who to help and who is a scammer.

The Story of the good Samaritan is a story of how a man fell on hard times not because of anything he did. I am not saying we do not help those who have caused their own heartache but we have to be careful to keep them from making the same mistakes. In other words just enabling them in their bad decision making.

Some of our benevolence giving can actually hurt people instead of helping them. So we are to love and help all the people God puts in our path but sometimes the most loving thing we can do is to not give them a free ride.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.

Books: When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert and Toxic Charity by Robert d. Lupton

2)   What does it mean to Love?

This is what Jesus meant when He said to love others as you love yourself. In this Narcissistic society we live in we do not love each other properly because we tend to think people love us not for us but for what they can get out of us. It is up to Christians to love properly and demonstrate to a world that has no clue what love is what true love is all about.

To love is to treat people how you want to be treated.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7  Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

A)     Patient: Long Tempered or Long suffering

If you have  ever been taken advantage of then you know it is difficult to put yourself in a position again to be hurt. Sometimes we love someone until they mess up again or until they hurt us. To be patient with someone is to love them even when they keep taking advantage of you. We are to demonstrate this love because God is patient with us and He is with others as well. The Same patients we want with our lives is the patients we need to demonstrate to others.

Robert Ingersoll was a lawyer during the Civil War. He was also an Atheist and would challenge the concept of there even being a God to worship. He would speak out against God  and he would stop his lectures and tell God He could strike him dead for what he said. He would wait five minutes and then he would say see God does not exist.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

See also: Matthew 5:39; Romans 12:17; Ephesians 4:2;

 

B)      Kind: serving and gracious

Matthew 5:40-41 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic,[a] let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.

To be kind means to be thinking of the welfare of others. To be kind is more than just smiling or not being rude  it is actions that are done for the sake of another.

Romans 2:4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

C)      Does not Envy (Jealousy)

Envy or Jealousy has two forms. One form is that it wants something that someone else has. The Second form is that it is hoping that what the other person has  is taken away from them.

When someone can do something better than us as Christians we have to be careful to not wish ill- will upon them. To love someone means that you are happy for them for what they have and are glad they have it. You are glad they made the team when you got cut. You are glad they got the promotion, new car, ect.

Envy led Eve to want to be like God. Envy led Cain to Kill able. Daniel was put in the Lions den by people who were jealous of him.

Scripture gives a strict warning against Jealousy

James 3:14-16 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

D)     Does not Brag: to talk conceitedly

Bragging is trying to make someone else jealous of what you have. Bragging is about building ourselves while at the same time putting others down. We hate when others brag and notice it right away but do not see it in ourselves.

If we truly love others then we have to be careful in bragging about what we have and what they do not have.

E)      Is not Arrogant (Pride)

Pride has destroyed a lot of churches and a lot of marriages. Pride says that you are wrong and I am right. Pride says that I am the only one who knows how to do things the right way. Pride says my way is right and your way is wrong.

None of us have arrived at perfection and Love knows this and allows others to not have arrived either.

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall

F)      Is not rude: without grace

We live in a rude society. We say things without thinking or taking the other person into consideration. Rude people say things like “ They just need to get over it”when they are dealing with a crises. To be rude is to be without grace which gives people the margin to struggle with whatever they are struggling with.

We make excuses for our rudeness but there are no excuses  as a Christian should have to be rude.

See also: Luke 7:36-47

G)     Does not seek its own way

Our society is about “What’s in it for me” Many of our churches and marriages are the same way. To love is to always look out for the best interest of others.

Matthew 20:26-28 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,[c] 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,[d] 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

H)     Not irritable (easily angered)

These all flow into each other but when we think of our rights and our needs then anger comes. Anger follows anyone who is focused on themselves because they focus mainly on what they do not have or how they have been wronged.  I get angry about things when my focus is on me and a quick remedy for that is to place your focus on others.

I)         Resentful: Tracking every wrong done to you

This is a bookkeeping term when you actually keep a ledger of all that another has done to you. Any relationship is doomed when a person holds a ledger of all the wrong the other has done to them.

See also: Romans 4:8; 2 Corinthians 5:19

J)       Does not rejoice at wrong doing

Love does not mean we just accept a person’s behavior. Sometimes Christians have been tolerant of wrong behavior in the name of Love. But Love does not mean accepting wrong behavior it means loving them enough to confront the wrong behavior.

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light  and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet  and sweet for bitter!

K)      Rejoices with the truth (God’s Word)

s word more than factual statements. For me to truly love my neighbor as myself I have to love Gods word. When we read God’s Word we realize the love He has for us and how we have been given His Spirit to live in us and through us. If you are having a hard time loving I would encourage you to read God’s Word (The Bible) and see how you change over time.

2 John 6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.

L)       Bears all things (Protects)

When I love someone I want to protect them from sin but I also want to protect them by not gossiping or exposing their sin to everyone. It means to cover up but not in the sense of not working on or not calling it out, but from others seeing the sin. As Christians we are to confront our Brothers and Sisters in Love according to Matthew 18 but if we do confront them and they repent then no one else needs to know about the sin. The only time the church should be involved with knowing about the sin is after the person has been confronted by others and refuses to repent.

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

M)   Believes all things (Believing the best about the person)

Innocent until proven guilty

If you are having a hard time loving someone it may mean that you really do not trust their intentions even more so than their actions. It is ironic that we expect people to trust our intentions over our actions but we judge people by their actions and question their intentions. When you believe in someone then the little mess ups they do not seem as big of a deal. When you hate someone the opposite is true and everything they do that is wrong is magnified.

N)     Hopes all things (Keeps you going)

If you have ever watched one of the survivor man shows you know that what they say you cannot lose if you are lost is hope. Hope is a powerful thing and people go on days without food and water because of the hope that they will be rescued.  The opposite is also true when people have no hope they give up and do not care if their life is ruined.

Hope sees the silver lining in the storm clouds. Hope sees the beauty of the country side when you are lost. Hope is what the world is longing for as their economic and health crashes around them.

See also: 1 Peter 3:15

O)     Endures all things (Never quits)

Endures is a military term that means they will fight till the death to hold the position. Watch any war movie and you will see men and women fighting to hold a spot in the ground that they cannot give up to the enemy. War is a  perfect picture of how we need to fight for our love ones, our marriage and our churches. We have to refuse to allow the enemy to win even when it looks as though we will not make it through the night.

3)   Why is Love so important?

“All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments”

Everything we do is determined by our love for God and our love for others. It literally means a door hinge that the door hangs on.  Without our love for God and our love for other everything else is worthless no matter how pretty of a door you have.

1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all that you do be done in love.

The 613 Laws that were established in the Old Testament,whether positive or negative, have to be applied from the standpoint of Love. You can do the greatest things for God but if you do not do them with a love for Him and a love for others it is worthless.

Everything about Love is backwards in our society as it was to those who first heard these words. The reason Christians have to Love properly is because the world does not know Love as we do. We know Love is from God because God is Love. (1 John 4:8) As we love God we will love others as well.

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