HOW SHOULD WE UNDERSTAND THESE TWO BIBLICAL LAWS?
Leviticus 19:18 – “…you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the YHVH.”
Matthew 22:35-40 – “Then one of them, a lawyer (scribe), asked him a question, testing him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”Yeshua said to him, “ ‘You shall love YHVH your Elohim (God) with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Yeshua (Jesus) answered a question from one of the legal minds of his day, and with his response, he validated Leviticus 19:18 as the second most important commandment from the Word of God – “you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am YHVH.” But for me, this brings up another question: If I am to learn to love my neighbor, am I to first learn to love myself? This is a pretty tall order for some due to many personal and unresolved life issues! Conversely, if one is a narcissist, then true love for another is not even possible. So, for those who struggle with personal self-esteem issues, are we to then embrace the personality of an empath who learns to never say “NO” to the needs of another?
In the Bible, “Love” expresses itself in a very specific way and we would do well to apply it and live it out, because biblical love, as it is written about in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Leviticus 19:18, and taught by Yeshua in Matthew 22:34-40 is not about loving yourself in order to love your neighbor.
Biblical love is always about giving and passing it on from the source of all love that is given to us. However, before this can happen, we must receive YHVH’s Love. Therefore, Yeshua taught (Matthew 10:8), “Freely you have received, freely give.” This is the basis from the Word of God for the biblical lesson of Leviticus 19:18 as I think it should be understood from Hebrew grammar and context: “I AM THE SOURCE OF YOUR LOVE TO/TOWARDS YOUR NEIGHBOUR, AS/LIKE HE (MESSIAH) IS UNTO YOU.”
Therefore, biblical love is NOT ABOUT first loving yourself; biblical love is about divine Love that is first given to us and then by receiving it, we are to give it out.
Join. us for today’s podcast about Loving Yourself and Loving your Neighbor on Real Israel Talk Radio Episode 77, Defining Biblical Love PART 13.
Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/biz/fund?id=23WBKCMBHKDT8/Ancient Roads: Real Israel Talk Radio)