Love one another AS I have loved you.
Matthew, also known as Levi, was a publican. Publicans were detested by the Jews at that time because they were the tax collectors and had a reputation of adding their own greedy motives to the amount they collected. They also worked with the Romans, who the Jews looked at as their oppressors.
What I love about Matthew is that, just like the fishermen, as soon as Jesus called for him to follow, he left everything and went with the Master. I love that the Lord looks on our hearts and does not judge us by what the rest of the world thinks of us. Christ loved and extended a merciful hand to EVERYONE! Some accepted His offer and followed Him and others didn’t, but He offered it freely to all. He never shied away from someone because the rest of the world saw them as unworthy.
Jesus’s parable of the good Samaritan illustrates so perfectly His request of us to love and without judgment. We are to love ALL people, and not just in thought but also in action, as shown in this beautiful story!
As a child, my parents’ best friends were not of our faith and I loved them dearly! I think at a young age I recognized a tradition of exclusion in our culture and fought against it. I recognized it as a tradition practiced out of fear.
My husband is not an active member of my faith and I was grateful to raise my children in a neighborhood where I felt like most children did not ostracize my kids because of their parents’ perception of my husband’s decisions. But I think this experience also made me, and by extension my children, more aware of others who felt left out and we tried harder to be good friends and neighbors to all.
Really, the good Samaritan is a lesson in love. In John 13:34 Jesus says, “Love one another; as I have loved you…”
A while ago I was pondering on this statement as I sat in a sacrament meeting. I felt an urging to create a list of ways Jesus has loved me. My tears ran freely as I recognized how He has loved me and how much He has loved me. As I contemplated my list, I saw many ways that I could do better at loving others in the same ways He has loved me.
He listens to me, truly listens. He empathizes with my heart and feelings. He guides me when I ask. He comforts me. He enlightens me. He gives me peace. He serves me. He gives me of His time. He offers hope to me. He sacrificed physically and emotionally to help me, even though it was inconvenient for Him. He teaches me. He sets an example for me. He accepts me and loves me despite my imperfections. He forgives me. He lifts me. He helps me carry my burdens.
I recognized that these are ways I should show my love to others… that I can love them AS Jesus loves me.
I challenge you to make your own list of ways Jesus has and does love you and think about how you can extend love in those same ways to others.
The Primary Manual for Come Follow Me is perfect for families with young children!
Click on the images below to print out these FREE coloring pages from Rising Moon Adventures that I created to go with this lesson:
Primary Insights for Come Follow Me videos –
Song 1: Do Something by Matthew West
Video 2: The Good Samaritan Skit (So powerful!)