And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
And He(Jesus) said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?”
And he(The Lawyer) answered, “YOU SHALL 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 YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”
And He(Jesus) said to him, “You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE.”
It is actually quite easy to learn about love intellectually; to know how to define it. The Lawyer knew the law and defined it perfectly by quoting from Deuteronomy 6:5. Jesus even credited the man with the correct answer, but added the all-important words of “DO This.”
Knowing, often does not lead to doing. And to DO without Knowing the Love of God in Christ is to do without love.
So how do we both KNOW God’s love and Share God’s love- DO Love?
Jesus, as He often did; TOTALLY de-constructs the Lawyer’s simplistic and easy idea of obeying the Law of Love and multiplies the cost of truly loving.
The following are some of the ideas that Jesus points out in this short parable-
1. The man was lying half dead in a very rough part of town- Picture driving alone through a rough part of town where you are scared to even be there and you come across a man who has just been beaten and robbed. No one would think you were wrong to drive right on because it would be Unsafe to stop and help.
Love is willing to put one’s own life at risk for God in the Love of others. Love is costly.
2. Jesus expands the definition of the word Neighbor from the nice people you know to- Anyone you meet in the path of life- even your worst enemy.
Love is willing to not only love those you like and who have earned your love, but those who you detest and who have wronged you.
3. Being a Holy person by position or title does not make you a holy person. A Holy and loving person is the one who shows God’s love to the least of these.
4. Love costs time, inconvenience, money, risk, etc.
5. True love moves beyond knowledge to action when it is fueled by COMPASSION. True love feels others pain as if it was their own pain. True love empathizes with the pain and circumstances of others and DOES SOMETHING to bring Christs love to that person in a VERY PRACTICAL WAY.
When was the last time it cost you something to love someone?
Are you willing to risk your time, your money, your energy, your very life for The One who gave His life for you?
Do you KNOW about Love or do you DO love?