A breathtaking photo captures a sunset silhouette of a man embracing a homeless person, embodying Jesus' teachings on love and compassion.

What Does Jesus Say About Love?

Love is a central theme in the teachings of Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus said that the two greatest commandments are to love God and love your neighbor. So if you want to know what Jesus says about love, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Jesus teaches that we should love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind. We should also love others as we love ourselves. He says that by this love, others will know we are his disciples.

In this comprehensive article, we will examine multiple passages where Jesus talks about the importance of love. We’ll look at his teachings on loving God, loving others, and loving enemies. With over 50 relevant Bible verses, you’ll get a thorough understanding of how central love is in the message of Jesus.

Loving God

Love God with All Your Heart

Jesus teaches that the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). This means that our love for God should be all-consuming – He deserves our full devotion and affection.

Loving God wholeheartedly involves pursuing an intimate relationship with Him through prayer, worship, and studying His Word. It means obeying His commands with joy and seeking to align our will with His purposes.

A heart that truly loves God will yearn to know Him more deeply and live in a way that brings glory to Him.

Obey God’s Commands Out of Love

Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15). Our obedience to God flows naturally from our love for Him. When we love someone, we want to please them and do what they ask of us. In the same way, our love for God will lead us to obey His Word and follow His guidance.

However, this obedience is not burdensome but rather an act of devotion. Jesus also said His commands are not heavy (1 John 5:3). As we walk closely with God each day, the Holy Spirit empowers us to live in alignment with His good and perfect will.

Our love and gratitude for all God has done compels us to honor Him with our obedience.

Put God’s Kingdom First

Jesus instructs us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). This means that our primary concern should be advancing God’s kingdom purposes on earth. As we grow in intimacy with God, He gives us a heart for what matters to Him – bringing people to salvation, ministering to those in need, sharing the gospel, making disciples, and living out kingdom values in our spheres of influence.

Pursuing God’s kingdom involves both personal holiness and a missional lifestyle that displays His love to the world. It requires surrendering our priorities to align with His purposes. When our supreme desire is to honor God and see His will accomplished, He promises to provide for our needs and lead us into abundant life.

Loving Others

Love Your Neighbor

Jesus teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). This means we should treat others with the same love, respect, and care that we would want for ourselves. Some ways we can show love to our neighbors include:

  • Being kind and generous
  • Listening to their concerns
  • Offering help when they are in need
  • Forgiving wrongs
  • Including them and making them feel welcomed

Loving our neighbor can be challenging at times, especially if we disagree with their actions or beliefs. But Jesus calls us to love unconditionally, just as He loves us. When we make the effort to truly know our neighbors and meet their needs, we reflect God’s loving nature.

Love Your Enemies

One of Jesus’ most radical teachings is to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). Most people find it natural to love friends and family who treat them well. But Jesus takes it a step further and tells us to also love those who mistreat and hurt us.

Loving enemies does not mean accepting or condoning their wrong behavior. But it does mean responding with kindness, doing good to them, and looking for opportunities to make peace (Luke 6:27-28). We should pray for them rather than seek revenge (Romans 12:14).

When we show undeserved love to our enemies, we witness to God’s grace and emulate Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. This reflects the holy, perfect love of God to a broken world.

Show Love Through Service

According to Jesus, loving God and loving people cannot be separated. He says that serving others in need is one of the primary ways we demonstrate our love for God (Matthew 25:31-46). Some examples of serving others include:

  • Volunteering at a homeless shelter or food bank
  • Going on mission trips
  • Donating goods or money to charity
  • Visiting the sick or elderly
  • Helping a neighbor in need

Jesus modeled servant leadership throughout His ministry. He urged His followers to humbly serve others rather than seek position and power. When we meet the needs of the poor, sick, and marginalized, we reflect God’s compassionate heart.

Loving and serving others takes time, energy and sacrifice. But it is what Jesus commanded us to do. As we step out in faith, He gives us strength and wisdom for each situation.

Love as Jesus’s Central Teaching

Love Fulfills the Law

Jesus taught that loving God and loving others is the essence of God’s law and the key to living righteously. When asked which commandment was the greatest, Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40). For Jesus, loving relationships take priority over ritual and regulation.

If we truly love God and love others, we naturally fulfill the intent behind the Ten Commandments and the rest of God’s laws.

Known By Our Love

Jesus taught that our love for one another is the distinguishing mark of his followers. At the Last Supper, when Jesus knew his time on earth was ending, he gave his disciples a new commandment: “Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). The quality of our love shows the authenticity of our faith. Selfless, sacrificial love modeled after Jesus’s own love can point others to him.

Love Brings Joy

Loving God and others as Jesus commanded leads to a profound joy, which Jesus wanted his followers to experience. At the Last Supper, he told his disciples, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:10-11). By living in a loving relationship with Jesus, we share in the joy he had in his relationship with the Father. A life of love brings deep contentment.


In summary, the words of Jesus reveal that love is at the very center of his teachings. We are called to have an all-consuming love for God and a selfless, sacrificial love for others. This includes loving those who hurt or oppose us.

By living out his commands to love, we display that we are true followers of Christ. If you walk away with one truth from Jesus’s message, let it be the supreme importance of love.

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