The Seed of Love
Love your neighbor as yourself.
- Leviticus 19:18
Fifteen hundred years before Jesus even walked the earth, God had been planting the seed about loving neighbors. In the Old Testament, “Love your neighbor” is just a tiny seed. It’s not in the 10 commandments; instead it’s tucked away in an offhand chapter of random laws in Leviticus. It’s not repeated over and over like so many of the other commands regarding holiness, the sabbath, or worshipping God; it just comes up once in the entire Old Testament. It’s just a seed.
Then Jesus waters it, tends it, and it grows like a wildfire in the New Testament, becoming the backbone of the way of Jesus. Other laws are called “obsolete” and “outdated” (Heb 8:13), but Jesus pus this little law from the margins of Leviticus into the very center of his way of following God. By the time you finish reading the New Testament, “Love one another” (a spinoff of “love your neighbor”) has come up over thirty times, and many times “Love your neighbor” is said to summarize the entire law (for example, Mt 22:40, Gal 5:13, 1 Pet 4:8, etc.).
What might it look like for you to “Live a life of love” (Eph 5:2) today? Take a moment and actually think about it and then take a minute and actually pray about it. If you can, set yourself a reminder for this evening to reflect on how you did at loving neighbors today.