The Teachings of Jesus Concerning Love in the Gospel of Matthew
Chapter One: Jesus introduces Love!
After Jesus speedily got rid of Satan in chapter four verse ten by quoting the Word of God as spoken by the prophets, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve." Satan got the point and left Jesus. Then angels came and ministered unto Him and He began His ministry in Galilee preaching "Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand" Jesus came in preaching about a kingdom. He also said it was at hand, or, within your reach, here and now. That kingdom Jesus was talking about could only be received and entered into by repenting. Repenting of what? Sin? What was considered sin to Jesus? Anything that was against God's commandment is a sin in the eyes of God. What was God's Commandment?
Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Jesus went on to hold a meeting up on a mountain with His disciples in chapters 5-7 where you can read it all instead of me quoting the whole thing here, but I will mention the key parts where Jesus is trying to drive home the message of Love. Love was His message the whole time He was here on this Earth. Loving God and your neighbor, and to show us how to do it was His mission. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Jesus was preaching God's Love and that the only way to enter into eternal life was to receive this love from God, but believing in Him and God's love for them. That means to repent of the evil deeds people were doing which was all of the unloving things that hurt others.
In Matthew chapters 5-7 Jesus patiently and completely explains and teaches how to live the Love of God and how to live life under the Law of God's Love. He made it a requirement that we absolutely have to believe in His love to go to Heaven. How can you enter into a kingdom of Love if you don't believe in Love? That's just it, you can't! Jesus is saying it is impossible to go to Heaven, the Kingdom of Love, unless you change and become a child of God; a child of Love!
Jesus goes on to explain clearly in Matthew 5 what the nature of those who inherit the kingdom of Heaven should be.
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Jesus is saying that the people who are humble, repentant, meek, hungry for the truth, merciful, pure in heart, and peacemakers will be in pretty good shape when He is deciding who to share His kingdom with. Because if you have the nature described here you have understood what God's Love means and are enacting it in your life through your words, intentions, actions and deeds. Not only this but He even says if you have been persecuted for righteousness sake, and have had all kinds of evil things said against you falsely for His sake, you should be real happy about that because when you finally do get to Heaven you will receive some great reward! If the suffering was for Jesus, preaching the Gospel, teaching the right way and you had to suffer for it somehow, Jesus will make up for it in Heaven! The Bible talks a lot about rewards in Heaven for those who overcome in this life. The Bible says that those rewards are so great that mankind cannot even imagine them as they are beyond your wildest dreams and thoughts!
He said in verse 16 to "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
So we have a problem here sometimes. Why aren't we able to always to that? Do you ever get angry at anyone? Do you ever get bitter and want to get back at someone? Every time you do it hurts your chances of staying close to God. Jesus even said that if you are angry with your brother you will be in danger of Hell fire! That is if you don't ever repent and turn around and start going the other way and love that brother! It's all in there in chapter 5! Jesus says that if you are going to give someone a gift but you are angry with someone else, you should not give that gift to the person until you have been reconciled with the one that you are angry with. That's love! No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, but if we ask forgiveness and also forgive, it will be forgotten. We can start all over again! Why in the world would anyone want to carry around with them all those burdens of bitterness and hate? In Hebrews it says to lay aside the weights and sins that so easily beset us! We fall into these things so easily sometimes and then we just accept it as part of our nature. Well, I'll tell you that isn't the nature of God! That isn't being meek, humble, pure in heart and merciful!
CHAPTER TWO: LOVING YOUR ENEMIES
Matthew 5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Here is Jesus saying that Moses said one thing, but I am saying another. You had better listen to Me now and not Moses! It is not love to hit someone back who hits you, yet sad to say this is the very first reaction of people or groups or even nations today! They are still going by the old laws of "an eye for eye and a tooth for a tooth" That is not what Jesus said. He said that you don't have to feel like you have to fight back. Two wrongs do not make a right! Yet, in today's world if you don't fight back and get revenge you are judged as being weak and having no backbone! You see, that goes to show you how far off the beam today's society has gone! They would rather have war than peace!
If you walk away from a fight you will be considered a coward and a weak character! They have things all backwards! It takes someone of a strong character to walk away from a fight, or not to answer back! If you never read the Bible before or never watched a movie about Jesus then you might not know that he never fought back! When he was captured and beaten, mocked, questioned, and finally crucified He never said an offensive word to his captors and did not fight back! He said that he could have called for legions of angles to come to his aid by just the snap of His fingers, but what would that have accomplished? That would have defeated God's whole purpose for coming down from heaven to die for our sins! He even said when He was on the cross looking down at those who had crucified Him, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!" He made excuses for them to His Father in Heaven and asked that they be forgiven for crucifying Him! What love! What forgiveness! What mercy! He not only preached the message of love, but He Himself lived it and was the sample all the way up to the end!
Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
"You mean Jesus wants me to love my enemies? Those people I hate and can't stand?" Yes He does. If the world would just believe and act upon this one Bible verse right here, all war would cease! This is the only way to bring peace! The only way!
The best way to destroy your enemies is to make them your friends!
"No! We want revenge! They deserve to be punished! They deserve to die!" Yes "die" It says in 1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Any person, any Christian who is going to make the Bible his or her standard or creed of living simply cannot ignore such passages as this one! It says if you hate your brother or sister you are a murderer! That is pretty strong language! I just wrote before where Jesus said that if you hate your brother you are in danger of Hell fire! That is also pretty strong language! God's formula for happiness peace and welfare is simple! Love brings life, and hate brings death! Even if you do not actually commit murder, how many people murder others with their tongue everyday? It says in the book of James chapter 3 verses 7&8:
James 3:7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Full of deadly poison! Hateful poison! The tongue can kill! Words can kill or bring life! Yes it is true! Words have been the deliverer of either life or death! If someone says something about someone that causes them to take their own life or somehow there is a life lost or destroyed in some way, which does happen in today's world, that person responsible for those words that brought death is a murderer! That is what the Bible says and if you are going to argue with the Bible you are arguing with God so I wouldn't advise it!
Just get with it and deal with that hate and bitterness because it is separating you from God and others and also yourself!
It is an easy thing to love people that love you Jesus said. Sometimes even that is too much for some people, but Jesus did say that even the sinners love their own kind. What is really the test of love is to love that Samaritan or the one you do not get along with for whatever reason. That person you have a hard time with who rubs you the wrong way and always tests your patience. Or that person or people who hurt you or damaged you in someway you think is irreparable. If you want to be repaired you can be. It all depends on you. Counseling won't do it, revenge won't do it either.
The thing that is going to start you on your way to repair, and healing is to forgive! That is love! That is the only way you will ever get the healing and closure you seek! Not by revenge and hate! That will lead to bitterness and murder either physically or verbally!
CHAPTER THREE: SEEKING FRIST THE KINGDOM OF LOVE
In chapter 6 of Matthew there are more lessons spoken by Jesus on how to enact love in daily life. He speaks of giving, but with the wrong motive. He says not to do it just to show off or because you want to let everyone know that you are giving or how much you are giving. If you are giving out of real love and compassion just because the person needs it, you don't need to advertise it. That's not love, that's pride! That's why Paul said "Though I give all my goods to feed the poor, but have not love it is nothing" If you are not doing it out of love for people, then your actions will not amount to much. If there is any other motive it will not bear the right kind of fruit. That's not to say your gift won't be used by God. He will still use it for what it is worth, but it won't be worth any more than its face value here on Earth. When you give out of a loving heart, and cheerfully, you not only get the benefit of seeing your gift bless those you give to, but you also get a much greater reward for it both here and now as well as there and then, in the next life.
Jesus also gives a lesson of prayer and how it signifies our love for God and others. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Jesus gives an example of how to pray by giving us the Lord's Prayer. This does not mean we cannot use any other words, but the reason He said to pray like this was so that we can get our priorities straight and make sure our hearts are right. Then if we follow God's requirements for prayer we will see the answer!
"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name." We first must acknowledge the Lord and praise Him. Give the Lord first place in all we do and pray. By this we are acknowledging our relationship with the Father in Jesus name. We are loving God and putting Him in first place.
10 "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Here we are asking nothing for ourselves. We are seeking first God's kingdom and what is best for others. This is loving others. We are praying and interceding for others before we ask for ourselves. We are asking for the Lord's will to be done, no matter what our own desires are. We are setting the stage for our petitions by asking the Lord to give us the right unselfish and loving attitude to make our petition before Him. 11 "Give us this day our daily bread." Next we are praying for our daily needs 12 "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." Here is the litmus test of our love.
Here is where we really get tested and tried to see if we have enough love to forgive others as we want to be forgiven. In another place it says, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass
Against us" Trespasses are sins against others. If you trespass on someone's land you are in a place you do not belong and should not be there without their permission.
Trespassing against others is doing them wrong. Doing things to others and treating them the way you shouldn't. When others have done you wrong or treated you badly, you should forgive them. This is a very important part of our prayers because if we cannot forgive others for their sins against us we might as well stop there. God will not answer our prayers. If we cannot forgive then we do not have the love of God. We would be in rebellion against God's Laws of Love. There is more in detail about forgiving later on. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:" Now God will not lead us into temptation, but we can fall into temptation easily by being drawn aside of our lust and enticed. God will not temp us, so why do we pray that?
Here we can end our prayer with praise and thanks to the Lord and acknowledge Him in all of His glory. In order to do this we have to know who God is, and believe that He is all powerful and rules all. We have to not only believe in God but we also have to believe Him and what He said in His Word. This is the confession of our faith. Then you can even end it with "In Jesus name" Amen.
19.Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Another verse that goes right along with this one is: 1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Isn't that the same thing that caused Adam and Eve to fall? It says in Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food,(lust of the flesh) and that it was pleasant to the eyes, (lust of the eyes) and a tree to be desired to make one wise, (the pride of life) she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Another verse that goes along with these is:
Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. So we can see that God is not pleased when we love the things of this earth more than Him and put them above our relationship with Him. Loving the things of the world including people, more than God is forbidden in scripture. Love is great. Real unselfish love that loves others more than yourself, but not more than God.
These verses are pretty much self explanatory and it is clear what the point is. Love is a pretty deep subject and there is much more to come.
Jesus then goes on t0 say that the light of your body is the eye. If you have true love, God's love in your heart your vision will be clear as you will be seeing through the eyes of love. Your eyes will reflect it as they will be shining! He also says if you have evil in your heart that will be seen in your eyes also, but it will not shine as the light of love. It will radiate darkness all around you! Hate and bitterness is evil and it radiates darkness!
CHAPTER FOUR: JUDGE NOT.
In Matthew chapter five Jesus gives a very powerful exhortation on judging others. "Judge not that ye be not judged". What did Jesus mean by that? When we judge others we are not only showing our total lack of love, but we are also showing our own criminal nature and judging ourselves. Jesus goes on to say that if we judge others unjustly and unfairly we will also be judged the same way. If we judge others fairly and lovingly we will also be judged fairly and lovingly. Love is makes a whole lot of difference in the way things are judged. If the person or people judging have no love and they are only interested in the legalities and seeing the other person pay the utmost punishment for their crimes, then they will also be judged the same way someday.
If we go ahead and judge others unmercifully and self-righteously, we will also receive the same type of judgment someday.
We are looking at the faults of others but not even considering the possibility that we may have also sinned or wronged someone. Either that or we forgot about the time we did wrong to others. Remembering how many mistakes we have made helps to keep us humble and helps us not to judge and condemn others wrongly.
In His own words Jesus says: Therefore 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. 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
The Golden Rule is one thing the whole world is familiar with, no matter what their religion or persuasion. It doesn't matter if you are a Christian or a Buddhist or Muslim or Jew or Hindi or whatever. The Golden Rule applies to EVERYONE! The principle is the same the world over! Even Atheists have to admit that there are certain things they would that men do to them and would prefer to not have done to them. This is the rule that God Himself has put within man to keep him on the right track no matter where he stems from or his roots happen to be!
No one can deny the fact that everyone needs love and is desperately in need or affection, sympathy, understanding, kindness, and mercy. There isn't a person on this earth who would not rather be treated kindly than harshly. There isn't a person alive who would not want to be understood. You would have to be insane or perverted to want to be beaten and abused and treated harshly. That is considered by the world to be abnormal if you like suffering harshness or pain. No one likes it no matter who they are. They have to have some sort of love in their life. They have to have some sort of affection and closeness to someone. This cannot be denied by any sane person who has feelings and emotions.
That was right after the statement about the Golden Rule. Isn't that true? How many people do you know that are really fully living the Golden Rule and treating people with as much love and respect and kindness as they want others to treat them? Jesus said there will be few that find it!
Jesus had so much love and compassion for the people that he did not refuse anyone that came to Him, not even once! He didn't even charge people for His services! He was the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep. Not the hireling who lays down the sheep for his own life. Jesus said that whoever saves their life will lose it, but whoever loses it for His sake will find it.
This is the compassion that led Jesus to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons. Do you think He is going to ask you how many devils you cast out? How many people you healed and raised up from the dead? It doesn't say that anywhere in the Bible. It says that he will talk to you and tell you either to enter in to the joy of the Lord, or to depart from Him I never knew you. No matter what you think you did that was righteous works, if it was not out of love and compassionbut for some other motive, it did not accomplish much for the Lord and He will not count it towards your righteousness.
No matter if you have no talents you can speak of. No matter if you have a bad memory, make mistakes, have no skills or are bad at business, or if you are good , talented, skillful, rich and famous and beautiful, it will not make any difference to Jesus. He requires the same standard for everyone no matter what your denomination or religion. "If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto Me" "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out" " By this all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" He has the same requirements and that is to love your neighbor as yourself, and to love God first of all. If we fall short of those two commandments nothing else we ever do will ever amount to much and we will not enter into His kingdom.
There is only one way to bring it back to the HOT position on your thermometer. That is to follow Jesus' own admonition in Revelations chapter two, "I have somewhat against thee because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."
If you don't agree with love and believe that God's love is the answer to everything it is because you don't believe in love or God. You can, though, even if you think you cannot. You can ask God to forgive all of your sins and your past and He will toss it all away. Asking for God's forgiveness and taking Jesus as your Savior by asking Him to come into your heart, life, mind and soul, and asking Him to forgive all of your sins as you forgive others of their sins against you, will make you a child of God. But it doesn't stop there. If you sincerely do pray and ask God's pardon, He will truly pardon you. Then it is your turn to turn around and ask God what you can do for Him. What would you do for Jesus? Anything He asks you to? Then you should not have any problem doing it for anyone else who needs it. Jesus said that is all of the Laws of Moses and the Prophets!
Love does not lose and cannot lose. Love wins now and forever! The whole world is looking for love. Will they find it in you?
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