“You Must Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”
1 The second of the two greatest commandments given by God to mankind is: “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39) Jehovah God was the first one to exhibit deep and abiding love for mankind. His Son, Jesus, likewise showed love for the human family by the sacrifice of his life as a ransom in our behalf. This was a display by Jesus of the deepest meaning of love for one’s neighbor. (John 3:16; 15:13) But Jesus did other things as well to show his love for mankind. What else did he do?
2 For one thing, Jesus preached the good news of God’s kingdom that would bring eternal blessings to obedient mankind. His deep feelings for people are shown by a Biblical account dealing with one of his preaching tours. We read at Matthew 9:35, 36: “And Jesus set out on a tour of all the cities and villages, teaching . . . and preaching the good news of the kingdom . . . On seeing the crowds he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.” The account also tells us that he performed acts of healing as an evidence of his love for people. Yes, indeed, Jehovah God and Christ Jesus care for others, and their display of love is unmatched. Can we likewise make an effort to love our neighbors as ourselves in imitation of Jehovah and Christ Jesus? How can we do this?
WHAT WE SHOULD DO
3 We can share with others the good news of that same kingdom that Jesus preached. (Matt. 10:5-7) Jesus also said in the prophetic twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew that part of the sign marking the end of this wicked world would be the earth-wide preaching of the good news of the Kingdom for a witness. In these highly significant “last days,” it is our privilege to be Kingdom proclaimers, giving evidence of our genuine love for our neighbors as for ourselves.
4 As we share in such important work we have great inner joy and peace of mind. We are confident in heart and mind that we are doing just as Jesus and his early disciples did, spreading Kingdom good news to those who are ‘skinned and knocked about as sheep without a shepherd,’ giving evidence of our love for our neighbor.
HOW TO SHARE IN THE WORK IN JULY
5 In July Jehovah’s Witnesses will be expressing love of neighbor by using the fine Bible aid Happiness—How to Find It. Due to convention travel or vacations, we may not have as many opportunities to share in the house-to-house work as usual, but this should not hinder us from exercising loving care for those with whom we come in contact. At the convention there will be opportunities arranged to share in the preaching work. Also, you may be able to share the good news with others when fueling your car, getting groceries, eating at a restaurant, riding on public transportation, and so forth. And do not forget to make use of the tract that encourages home Bible studies.
6 By being alert to opportunities you can express your love for your neighbor. We encourage you to pay close attention to the service meeting parts during July dealing with the use of the Happiness book in witnessing so that you will be prepared to pass along the good information in that publication. Thus we may lead others to the Word of God, the source of information on how we can love our neighbor as ourselves.