Our biggest sale! 50% off your PLUS subscription. Use code SUMMER

Do We Love Like Jesus?

Vanessa Luu

Contributing Writer
Updated Apr 19, 2024
Do We Love Like Jesus?

Jesus always offended people, and I know that when we humble ourselves, the fear dispels because our desire to share the Light of the world is stronger than being rejected.

Do we love like Jesus? This question was prompted while reading about Jesus washing the disciples' feet in John 13. When He finished, he told them, "Do as I have done for you" (John 13:15). Jesus bent down, humbling Himself at His disciples' feet, even though He was worthy of praise and held the highest authority. When Jesus was finished, He instructed them (us) to copy Him, and I don't think we do.

A few verses later, Jesus says, "So now I am giving you a new commandment. Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples" John 13:34-35 (NLT). Jesus modeled what love looks like by humbling himself and washing their feet. He humbled Himself and died on the cross for us. Humility is a critical ingredient in love, yet we carry far too much pride. We cling to pride out of fear because life is scary, but Christ calls us to live differently.

I'm aware that every generation has wicked and righteous people, but I can't help but wonder what our world would look like if we, who believe, truly loved like Jesus. The first Church in Acts was highly successful. The apostles followed the model that Jesus provided. They testified about Christ and validated His truth with their love. 

Too Concerned with Rules

Somewhere between then and now, the Church, the Body of Christ, has grown weak. We say we love, but like the Jewish people of Jesus's time, we've put our own rules and standards around it. It didn't work for them, and it's not working for us.

Part of Jesus' ministry was to point out how those who called themselves the Sons of Abraham weren't living right. They were missing the point. They counted themselves righteous through the Mosaic Law, but their rigid rules often hindered God's love.

"So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You will become free'?" John 8:31-33 (NASB)

Jesus lays it out clearly for us in the passage above. To be His, we must continue to walk in His Word. This news upset the Jews because they didn't believe they needed to be set free of anything since they were Sons of Abraham. But Jesus told them the harsh truth.

"They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus *said to them, "If you are Abraham's children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. You are doing the deeds of your father" John 8:39-41 (NASB). The father Jesus referred to was the devil (John 8:44).

If you can believe it, the Scripture gets even juicier than that! (Don't believe me, keep reading John 8.) Jesus doesn't let the topic go. Their misplaced identity was too vital to ignore. Jesus needed them to know that He was the only Way, Truth, and Life to the Father, no matter what our bloodline says. Jesus invited them to accept Him and model humility. As we see in chapter 8, they couldn't accept His words.

Too Picky with Humility

There are areas in my life where I practice humility. If I'm ever out of line with my kids, I humbly ask for their forgiveness. I'm willing and able to do this in any of my relationships, and I know the Holy Spirit living inside me prompts me to do so. However, do I humbly love and serve as Jesus did? I don't think so.

Jesus lived on the streets, taking shelter in the mercy of strangers. That idea does not excite me. I expect God to provide me with a home where I can keep my possessions and sleep in a warm bed. I'm confident I'm not alone in these expectations. And maybe that's okay, but my theory is that these familiar comforts inhibit the level of humility that Jesus modeled. I can't help but wonder if our nation would be so far from God if we did model Christ's humility. What do you think?

Paul tells us to live in humility as well in Philippians 2:3-8:

"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men."

There are movements out there today that teach Christians that they are equal with God, but we see from Paul that not even Christ did that, and He was God in the flesh! 

I can't ignore the themes God has highlighted for me throughout the Bible and my life. Humility is an essential ingredient to following Jesus. As I admitted before, I do not possess the level of humility that Christ does, but I see Him doing the work in me in His timing. That's the best we can hope for, but it doesn't come without the genuine desire to follow Jesus and actively empty ourselves of selfish desires.

Too Concerned with Comfort

We, the Church, need to do better. We cannot be the world's Light if we're always concerned with our comfort. This comfort includes the fear of rejection or offending someone. Jesus always offended people, and I know that when we humble ourselves, the fear dispels because our desire to share the Light of the world is stronger than being rejected. Jesus was rejected.

Isaiah 53:3-5 (one of my favorite Scriptures) says, "He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed."

Jesus did the work for us but calls us to model his love so that others will see Him. His love can only be expressed when we humble ourselves before Him daily.

Ephesians 5:2 (NASB) says, "and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma." 

Lord, help us to walk in humility and love. Please help us put others first as you've told us to. Help us let go of our pride so the fallen world will see your love through us. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/kieferpix

Vanessa Luu is a wife, mother, and faith-based writer. She speaks and writes to believers to encourage them to live authentically with God.