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You Shall Love

You shall love -

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Your neighbor as yourself...

Leviticus 19:18

You shall love your neighbor as yourself - I am the LORD (Lev. 19:18).

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

The word here is to you - the second person singular ending is found on the verb ahav. You personally are to hear this commandment to love. You are the subject of this verse.

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

The direct object of the verb is your neighbor. But who, exactly, is my neighbor? Some Pharisaical types have claimed that the word rea refers only to one's fellow Jew - not to others at large in the world. But the Lord Jesus answered this question by turning it around. Instead of attempting to find someone worthy of neighborly love, I am asked to be a worthy and loving neighbor (Luke 10:29-37).

Helping Hand

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Just as you love yourself instinctively (Eph 5:29) - without needing reasons - so you should love others, without needing reasons. Jesus went further still by saying, "Love your enemies, and bless them that curse you" (Matt. 5:44). As you were once an enemy of God but have been given unmerited grace from Him, so you should likewise give grace and mercy to all people, including those who are your enemies (Matt 18:32-33).

What is the highest priority in your life? According to the Lord Jesus it is this "you shall love." When asked what was the point of life, Jesus quoted v'ahavta et Adonai elohekha ("you shall love the Lord your God," Deut. 6:4) and v'ahavta l'reakha kamokha ("you shall love your neighbor as yourself," Lev. 19:18).

Love is the foundation of the revelation of God and our highest calling before Him
(Matt 22:36-40).



Did you know?

Alex Levin Painting Excerpt

The phrase v'ahavta l'reakha kamokha is considered the most comprehensive rule of conduct toward others found in the entire Torah. Thus Hillel, a contemporary of the Lord Jesus, commented regarding this phrase: "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary." The Lord Jesus said "all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets" (Matt 7:12). The apostle Paul also wrote "Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law" (see Rom. 13:10, see also Gal. 5:14).

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