Jesus commanded believers to love God and to love one another and so what are some of the top Bible verses commanding us to love one another?
The Greatest Commandment
Matthew 22:37-39 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus gave us the greatest commandment of all. We must love God first and foremost and this love encompasses all of our minds, our soul, and our heart. That means our devotion toward God comes first (Matt 6:33) and involves all that we think about (our mind), all of our soul (whatever we do), and all of our heart (what we desire the most). We are also to love our neighbors as ourselves. Of course, we don’t need to learn to love ourselves because that comes naturally, at least for most, but to love others means that we take care of them as we do our own body, mind, and soul.
Jesus’ New Commandment
John 13:34-35 “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.”
This commandment is evangelistic in nature because Jesus says that by our loving one another “everyone will know that [we] are [His] disciples.” The converse is true; if we are not loving one another or acting in love toward one another, everyone will know that we are not His disciples. This love is the same kind of love that Jesus directed toward them…and that was a life-giving, self-sacrificing kind of love that was willing to die for others.
Honoring Others in Love
Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Love is not a feeling but a choice. It’s not what you feel but more what you do. Being devoted to one another in love means that we honor others above ourselves as it puts others first and ourselves last.
Knowing God is Knowing Love
First John 4:7-8 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
If someone hates their brother, then they don’t really know God and are a liar because John writes that “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen” (1 John 4:20). Talk is cheap. Anyone who hates his brother or sister is a murderer at heart (Matt 5:21-22). Someone can say that they “know God” but if they don’t love others, they are only lying to themselves and to us.
Love our Enemies
Matthew 5:44-45 “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
It’s easy to love our friends and family but what’s so different about that than from the way the world lives? Unbelievers do the same thing (Matt 5:46-47). What is truly remarkable and displays the love of God in our hearts is when we love our enemies and more than that, we pray for them who persecute us. Jesus said that if we do this, it makes us the true children of God. Jesus said “that you may be children of your Father in heaven” or to put it another way, “so that you might be the children of your Father in Heaven.”
Loving Others like Christ Loves Us
John 15:12-13 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Jesus commands us to love others just as Jesus loved us and that means we are to be willing to die for them, as He said “greater love has no one than this.” Easy to say, hard to do but remember that Jesus died for us while we were still His enemies and wicked sinners (Rom 5:8, 10).
Love Fulfills the Law
Romans 12:8 “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”
Paul is writing that we should stay debt free but one debt remains that has an outstanding balance and that is the “debt to love one another” because “whoever loves others has fulfilled the law” and Paul may be referring to Jesus’ commandment to love one another as He loved us.
God loved us so much that He gave us the supreme example and so “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19), not that we loved Him first. He loved us so much that He willingly gave His one and only unique Son to die for us so that we might have eternal life (John 3:16-17) and in fact, it was the only way to gain eternal life! If you haven’t trusted in Christ and repented, then you do not presently have eternal life but an eternal death sentence hanging over you (Rev 20:11-15). I trust that is not your eternity because time is short but eternity is a long, long time.
Another Reading on Patheos to Check Out: What Did Jesus Really Look Like: A Look at the Bible Facts
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon