What was Revolutionary in Christ’s Ethic of love?

Jesus reiterated that the first two commandments given to Moses by God were really one:

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, thy whole soul, thy whole strength” (Deuteronomy 6, 5).

“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Leviticus 19, 18).

It is the same love- the love of the heart of God- with which one is to love- without discrimination. But he completely changed the concept of one’s “neighbour”. Read the story of the Good Samaritan ( Lk. 10, 30-37). When asked “Who is my neighbour?”, Jesus answered: Anyone who is merciful. Even the stranger, the Samaritan was a neighbour, and I have to love no matter whom, because – as his beloved disciple, John, would later repeat the Master’s main teaching-

“God is love… Whoever loves, knows God.

Whoever does not love, does not know God”

(I Jn. 4, 7-8 would mean the first letter of epistle of John, chapter 4, verses 7 and 8)

Brahma Vidya is as simple as that. It is reduced to loving – because without love all knowledge is sterile- , and loving no matter whom.

“If anyone says I love God but hates his brother, he is a liar. How can he love God whom he cannot see, when he does not love his brother whom he sees? (1 Jn. 4, 20).

The sign of true discipleship of Jesus is this indiscriminating love. Christian fellowship transcends all races, castes, communities, sex, though often in practice Christians too make distinctions. Even enemies have to be loved, prayed for, forgiven, treated with magnanimity that can be born only out of a heart in conformity with God’s.

“If someone slaps you on the left cheek, offer him the right” (Mt. 5, 43-48; Lk. 6, 27-36)

“If someone offends you forgive him- not seven, but seventy-seven times. ”(Some translations say: Seventy times seven) (Mt. 18,21-22)-as Jesus told Peter. It is no use offering a gift to God without reconciling oneself even to someone who might have offended you. All know how much Mahatma Gandhi was influenced by these words and others in the famous Sermon on the Mount (Mt. Chapters 5,6,7).

Jesus added that our love for God would be judged on how we have loved our neighbour:

“I was hungry and you gave me to eat, a stranger and you took me in, sick and you visited me… For whatever you did to one of these my little ones, you did to me” (Mt.25, 31-46).

And love meant humility, those who were truly great had to choose – through love – to be truly small. Jesus taught a revolutionary way of loving even to those in position of authority.

અમારો સંપર્ક કરો

ફાધર વર્ગીસ પોલ, એસ.જે.
(ડિરેક્ટર, સી.આઈ.એસ.એસ.)


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