Monthly Messages from Sally Weiesnbach, Ark Founder & Director of Operations
It’s July and we are well into our journey on studying how following Jesus’ one command to love our neighbors as He loves us fulfills all of Moses’ 10 commandments. This month we’ll consider how loving our neighbors like Jesus does assures that we follow the 6th commandment in Exodus 20:13: “You shall not murder.”
As Christians, we are called to follow the example of Jesus and to love our neighbors as He loves us. (Ephesians 4:22) This refers to the way we treat one another, not just the people we know and love, but also our enemies. (Luke 6:27-28) When we are living out this command, we can live out the 6th commandment of not intentionally killing others.
To understand fully, we must look at how Jesus Himself lived His life. In Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.”
With that lesson, Jesus sets two standards. One is obvious: we are not to murder someone in a physical sense. He also means it in a spiritual sense. Loving the way that He loves addresses the attitudes of our hearts, and not just the physical action of murder.
The command to love others as Jesus loves us encompasses not only the way we treat our enemies but also ourselves. When we can love ourselves, we can love others in a healthy and productive way. (Mark 12:31) Instead of becoming angry or resentful, we can extend this grace to our enemies. (Matthew 5:44) We stop seeking revenge or harboring hatred. The more we practice loving as He does, the more we learn to seek ways to show love, even when it’s difficult, which helps us avoid lashing out in anger or seeking revenge.
Living out Jesus’ command to love our neighbors as He does honors God’s law, including the 6th commandment. Jesus never murdered anyone. He shows respect for life and cares for everyone he meets with kindness, gentleness, and self-control. When we follow His example, we show respect for life. We care for others the way He cares for us. This is a powerful reminder that loving our neighbors as Jesus loves us means we physically and mentally value life, thus honoring old and new commandments.