Last post I wrote about the most important command that we have been given and how it should effect our daily outlook on life. The interesting aspect of that command though is that it comes in two parts. Part one, love God; Part two, love people. In Mark 12:29-31 Jesus answered the question of what was the most important commandment in all of the Law,

    [29] Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. [30] And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ [31] The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Love your neighbor as yourself – surely Jesus has to be kidding right? It sounds crazy to our ears that the most important command in all of the Scriptures, in fact the most important command in all of life, is to love other people like ourselves. Really? My question in this is, why? Why is it that loving people is placed on the same level as the command to love God?

There are a few reasons we should consider this command and how it impacts our lives. Going back to the beginning of the book we see that it was in the image of God that man was made. In Genesis 1:26 God is talking with himself about the creation of mankind and the result is that man was to be created in the image of God. So what does this have to do with loving people? Simply put we love other people because they have been made in the likeness of God and if we truly love God then we will love them. While we may look at someone and think they are too skinny or too big, or their nose is too big for their face, one idea that we should constantly hold in the forefront of our thinking is that that person, regardless of how they appear in our eyes, has been created in the image of God.

Another reason that we should love other people is because we should have a desire to see all people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Think back to when you first became a Christian – what was it that drew you Christ? For the vast majority of people it was because of the love of another person who cared enough to share the gospel with them. When we truly love our fellow human beings we should want to share the truth with them. Especially because we know what is at stake! Eternity! With that in mind we can view that rude cashier at the grocery store and understand that it is sin that makes her act that way and the only solution to their problem is the love of Jesus.When we start viewing people with love, the true kind of love that God wants us to have, it will change our entire outlook on life. Challenge yourself this week to look at other people with the eyes of God and maybe, just maybe, we’ll start to see people as they truly are – lost and in need of a saviour.