So what about the second part – how are we to love people?
Before being crucified, Jesus gave His last commandment to his disciples in 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.”
So if we are to love people as Jesus loved how did He love? What is the model of love? Sure Jesus took care of needs, He provided, He taught, He heeled, but most of all He loved by being humble:
Philippians 2:3-8 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”
So what is humble? Here are the three definitions of humble from Webster’s:
- Not proud or haughty: not arrogant or assertive
- Ranking low in a hierarchy or scale : insignificant, unpretentious
- Reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission
It is the last definition that Paul was using in Philippians. It is also the definition that Peter was using in 1 Peter 5:5 “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Humble meaning putting others and their needs ahead of our own needs. Humble is submitting our needs to the needs of the other person. We either do what is best for us or we do what is best for the other person. That is how we are to love in every situation, in every interaction.
None of this is natural or intuitive. No, this definition of humble can only occur supernaturally by flowing out of a relationship with God and by living through the Holy Spirit.
This is how Jesus loved and how we are to love: 1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
In His Service,