Wow, here is a question to God Himself. What an opportunity to obtain from God the true answer to such a profound question. What Christ answered is something that has been made profound in my own life lately. Let me quote it out of the NIV:
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘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.’” Luke 10:25-27
So, Christ answers this guy with Love your God. But before anyone can ask a question, he continues … and love your neighbor as yourself. Such a simple statement, but one that has profound meaning for each of our lives.
In John, Jesus tells us again:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
How will others know that we are His disciples? Not by our beliefs, not by our “good” actions, not by our rules, not by what we say. It is our love for others.
Growing up, this was not part of my doctrine. I viewed myself above others. I looked down at those that differed from my beliefs. I was better and was not pushed to love others.
To act and think like Jesus is something that many of us desire, but we fall short, daily. Imagine being Jesus, He knew everyone’s story. We may have a disgreement against someone, but after we hear their story, our thoughts about them may change. We find out something that changes what we think about them when we learn of their story. They had abuse in their childhood, they just lost someone close to them, they lost their job. Something that changes our thoughts about them.
Jesus knew everyone’s story. He had the whole picture of everyone He came in contact with. One person was told to sell everything he owned and follow. Another person was told to simply Love the Lord… Why? Because He knew their story. He knew where that person was.
We do not have other’s stories. They guy that just cut me off in traffic, I don’t have his story. That person that took advantage of me at work, nope – no story. The person who told that lie about me, no story.
What Christ is saying (I believe) is that whatever we do, it must be done through the supreme filter, love for others. This we find is quite difficult because we do not have everyone’s story, but that is where the challenge is. Compassion for others needs to be tilled in the soil of our heart .. after all, they will know we are followers of Him through our love for others.