“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” – John 13:34
This scripture really got me thinking about the way I love people, the meaning of love and Jesus as our example.
In the English dictionary the definition of love is:
Noun: an intense feeling of deep affection,
Verb: feeling a deep romantic or sexual attachment.
As I looked at Jesus’ life and the way he loved I wanted to know more, I began searching for the meanings of the word love in Jesus’ day. In the Greek language I found six meanings for the word love:
Eros (sexual passion)
Philia (deep friendship)
Ludus (playful love)
Agape (love for everyone) – This is the type of love Jesus speaks of in John 13:34
Pragma (longstanding love)
Philautia (love of the self)
Digging deeper into “His Word” I found lots of scriptures where Jesus shows us how to love one another. I also saw examples of how he loved people, but ultimately, I wanted to know:
“Am I loving Jesus the way I am suppose to be?”
This question sent me on the hunt for examples in “His Word”. I found Mary Magdalene to be a great example of Agape love. She is first introduced to us in Luke 8: “Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out”
Mary Magdalene was a devoted follower of Jesus. It does not say how Mary Magdalene came to follow Jesus, but it does tell us of the evil spirits and infirmities she once suffered. It says she was healed of them! Jesus showed great love and compassion to her earlier and now she was devoted to showing Him her love in return as a great public witness to Christ. If you look at the four Gospels you will see that each author felt it necessary to mention her. She was at his crucifiction. She was at his burial. She was the first at the tomb that first Easter morning. She was the first to witness his resurrection. (Mark 16:9) She ran to share the good news, with the disciples saying “ I have seen the Lord.” (John 20:18)
Jesus loved Mary Magdalene in spite of her flaws, He saw her brokenness and healed her. In return she loved Jesus with her whole being. She gave her words, her actions, and her dedication to him as a devoted witness. That is Agape love!
Take some time to ponder these questions, then decide how you can take action to love more deeply today.
Do you love your friends and family with Agape love?
Can you love a total stranger with that same love and compassion?
How deeply do you love your Lord and Savior?