Love Like Jesus: 12 Bible Verses to Take to Heart
Easter is just around the corner! As we prepare to celebrate the ultimate act of love, here are 12 Bible verses about Christ’s love to take to heart so you can love like Jesus.
12 Bible verses about Jesus’ love
The Bible tells us to love like Jesus. So, how do we do that? After all, Jesus was perfect. We are not. Although we can’t expect to meet Christ’s perfect standard, we are still called to try. Fortunately, Jesus gave us many practical examples of how to love that we can emulate. So, here are 12 Bible verses about Jesus’ love and how they can help us love like He did…
Bible verses about loving through kindness
Jesus and Zacchaeus
One of the ways that Jesus loved was by being kind. You may be familiar with the story of Zacchaeus, the “wee-little” tax collector. He climbed up a tree just to catch a glimpse of Jesus as He passed by. Many people would have ignored Zacchaeus, but Jesus did not. Not only did Jesus notice him, but He wanted to spend the day with him! As a result, this upset several people who had a low opinion of the diminutive tax collector. However, Jesus knew better. He knew how loving through kindness would transform Zacchaeus’ heart. Likewise, we have the same opportunity to share God’s love with others through kindness.
Jesus and Lazarus' family
Additionally, another way to show kindness is through compassion and empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share feelings with others. When Jesus’ friend Lazarus died, He shared in the grief of the man’s sisters and friends. He did this even though He knew He could and would raise Lazarus from the dead! This verse shows us the depth of Jesus’ love. He wasn’t faking sadness, He really felt it. Because of that, offered the kindness of sharing those feelings with Lazarus’ family and friends. So, we can offer that same compassion to those around us who are hurting.
Bible verses about loving through service
Serving Jesus by serving others
We talked about the importance of service in the March Live It Challenge. Serving others is a great way to love like Jesus and can often open doors to share our faith that otherwise would be closed. Jesus did not shy away from serving others and commanded His followers to do the same. In this verse, He tells us that when we serve others, we are serving Him. So, we have even more reason to love like Jesus and help those around us!
Following Jesus' example of service
Jesus didn’t just talk the talk; he walked the walk. Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, putting himself in the place of a servant. He did this to set the example that they (and we) should follow. Jesus was not afraid to humble himself and show others his love by serving them. He reiterated this point powerfully in Mark 10:45 when He said that He “came not to be served but to serve.” Similarly, we have the opportunity to adopt Jesus’ loving mindset – to not be served but to serve.
Bible verses about loving through forgiveness
Forgiving as we have been forgiven
Another way to love like Jesus is by showing forgiveness to those who have wronged us. Jesus paints a perfect example of God’s forgiveness in the parable above. A man owing a significant debt to a king is shown mercy and his debt is forgiven. After that, the forgiven servant doesn’t pass along that same mercy to another and is punished, but we’re given the chance to respond differently. We’ve experienced God’s loving forgiveness. As a result, we can share that same mercy to those who hurt us.
Jesus' example of forgiveness
If anyone had a right to not forgive, it was Jesus. He was falsely accused, beaten, mocked, and nailed to a cross to die an excruciating death. And it wasn’t just the soldiers or the Jewish leaders that put him there. It was all of us – our sinful selves that needed atonement. Jesus didn’t have to forgive us, but he loved us so much that He prayed to Father in heaven that we would be forgiven.
Bible verses about loving through the truth
Sharing the truth in love
You may have heard the phrase “sharing the truth in love.” If you love someone, you don’t hide the truth from them – you share it! Jesus wasn’t shy about telling others the truth, but He always did it in a way that showed He cared for them. In the verse above, Jesus shared several truths to the woman at the well, none more important than revealing He was the Messiah that she was waiting for. As a result, the woman was so excited that she began sharing the truth of Jesus, and many people believed in Him because of her testimony.
Jesus is the way
Once again, Jesus did not hold back the truth from His disciples or us thousands of years later. That Jesus is the one and only way to God is an absolute truth that endures forever. He showed His love for mankind by proclaiming this truth and verifying it with His ministry. After His death and resurrection, Jesus commissioned His followers to go and make disciples of all nations, sharing with them His loving truth (see Matthew 28:16-20).
Bible verses about loving through sacrifice
Love your enemies
To love like Jesus is to sacrifice. There is a cost involved, and it can feel like a particularly steep cost to love your enemies. Despite that, Jesus lived out the words above in Luke 22:49-51. A mob came to arrest Him. As a result, one of the disciples lashed out with his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Even though the servant was part of the mob that had come to capture Jesus, He showed the man His love by healing his ear. Then, in another act of sacrificial love, Jesus gave Himself over to be arrested.
Jesus' sacrificial love
Because Jesus loved us, He was willing to sacrifice His life for us. He suffered and died on a cross because He knew that was the only way we could join Him in heaven. We may not be asked to literally give up our lives for someone else, but we can still love like Jesus by sacrificing our desires to help those around us. Additionally, Isaiah 53:5 is another great Bible verse about Jesus’ love.
Speaking of Christ’s sacrificial love, that brings us to…
The ultimate example of love
Jesus provides the greatest example of love the world has ever known. As Easter approaches, read through a Gospel account of Christ’s loving passion and victorious resurrection. What examples of love do you see from Jesus by reading through just those chapters? Take note of those examples and be thinking about how you can follow His example as you strive to love like Jesus.
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