This was originally posted on October 14, 2013, but we wanted to share it with you again.
Jesus: Our model for loving others
How should my life (words, actions and decisions) reflect my relationship and pursuit of Christ?
If a person is walking with God on the inside, then their life (words, decisions, and actions done out of obedience to God) should reflect a distinct character on the outside.
“Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:6)
The perfect expression of God’s love for others is found in the person of Jesus. Jesus is our benchmark! Jesus does not require anything from us that he did not already live out in his own person and life. The command to love one another (John 13:34), and love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39) were given and modeled by Jesus and now commanded of His followers.
How did Jesus model Love and Service?
The Bible gives us the following examples:
Compassion: Jesus was incredibly compassionate. We see Him time and time again responding to the needs of the suffering:
The sick were made well and the blind given sight (Luke 7:21)
He liberated those who were bound by social injustice and prejudice (Mark 7:24-30; Luke 5:12-15; 7:36-50; 8:43-48; 10:38-42; 19:1-10)
Those in bondage to demonic powers were set free (Luke 4:33-35)
He loved deeply (Matt 9:36; Mark 10:21; Luke 7:13)
Respect: Jesus’s respect for all of life was universal.
He repeatedly respected and valued women – an attitude largely unexpected and unknown in his culture and time (Mark 1:30-31; Luke 7:11-15; 13:10-17)
He respected and valued children (Mark 10:13-16)
He respected the downtrodden and poor. It’s the purpose for which He came according to Luke 4:18-19
Listened: Jesus was an extraordinary listener. Whether it be His enemies or His disciples, Jesus valued people by listening to them and responding thoughtfully and patiently.
Encouraged: Jesus spent a great deal of time encouraging people towards love. (Luke 6:17-49) The Beatitudes serve as a call to be responsive to God and to love others as Jesus advocates throughout His life.
We learn from the biographies of Jesus that all people were accepted and loved, especially those at the bottom of the social pyramid—poor people, women, outcasts, lepers, children, prostitutes and tax collectors. Jesus is the perfect model of loving your neighbor as yourself.
Why should Christians have an active heart for serving the poor? Because of Jesus, the perfect standard for how we live—the overflow of Jesus’s love for the Father meant a life in constant service to others. Our overflow and love for the Father (our seeking to conform to the character of Christ) should also result in a life of service and love to others.
How can my life model Christ’s love?
A life living in Christ (1 John 2:6) is a life that loves and serves others. It means service to the poor that listens, loves, encourages, respects and helps those in your midst—especially those from the bottom of the social class. This is the heart of Jesus and should be our heart as well as we seek to live in fellowship with Him.