“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8
There are not many people who do not respect Jesus Christ. There have been substantial historical writings about Jesus, and even non-Christians regard him highly. The first century Jewish historian Josephus wrote, “Jesus [was] a wise man, for He was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth.” In 2011, the leading neo-atheist Richard Dawkins said to the UK’s The Guardian newspaper that “Jesus was a great moral teacher”.
A careful study of the Scriptural records reveals that Jesus taught and lived in such a way that emphasised love as a value. He had great compassion for the sick, the weak and the needy. He always made time for those who came to Him for help.
He valued friendship greatly, and He was willing to sacrifice Himself for others. Jesus was God’s love incarnate (made visible and tangible) for us to see, know, experience, respond to, and exemplify.
One of YCK Chapel’s core values is: “We value character development towards Christ-likeness.” This value is especially important because it expresses God’s will that the character of Jesus be formed in each and every one of us. If we want to grow to be like Christ, we should be growing in love for God and for our fellow man. This is not fulfilled by vague feelings of benevolence towards mankind as an abstraction. Rather, this fruit of the Spirit of God is seen in daily situations when I have to decide to seek the good of a perfect stranger, whether to help someone who does not deserve it, even whether to lay down my very life for someone who hates God and hates me. If Jesus held nothing back out of love for you and me, then we are called to do the same.
This is a tall order indeed. No one could love like Jesus loved, unless God was working in him or her. In 1 Corinthians 12:31, it is stated that love is “the most excellent way” for anyone who claims to follow Jesus. May God lead us to walk in this way, for the sake of our eternal souls and for the good of the earth that must one day belong wholly to Him.
By Aaron Lee, Elder (YCKC Bulletin 13&14 December 2014)