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Does Jesus want us to love ourself first or others? MATTHEW 22:39

MATTHEW 22:39—Does Jesus want us to love ourself first or others?

 

PROBLEM: Jesus says in Matthew that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. But, if we love ourselves first, before we love our neighbor, then would be putting self before neighbor. Jesus teaching that we should be selfish?

: Loving others as we love ourselves can be understood in different ways, but in Jesus implying that we should be selfish. The Bible condemns “lovers of themselves” (2 Tim. 3:2). exhorts us not to consider only our own interests, but also the interest of others (Phil. 2:4). There are three ways to understand the phrase, “love others as yourself.”

First, some that Jesus saying that we ought to love others as we ought to love ourselves, namely, unselfishly. , however, seems far too subtle and dialectical for Jesus’ normally straight-forward moral assertions. would been forthright to simply do not be selfish than the tangled command of loving oneself unselfishly.

Second, Jesus could meant that we should love others as we ought to love ourselves, namely, properly. There a legitimate self-respect or self-love. Ephesians tells us to care for our own bodies, “for one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes ” (5:28–29). There nothing wrong a legitimate self-care and self-respect. The Bible condemns someone for “thinking of himself highly than he ought,” but urges him to think “soberly” (Rom. 12:3). In sense, Jesus be saying love others as you ought to love yourselves.

, Jesus could meant that we should love others as much as we do love ourselves. That , He might been saying that we should measure we ought to love others by we actually do love ourselves without implying that the we love ourselves is correct. Rather, be simply pointing to love for self as the standard by we should judge much to love others. In , there would be an automatic check on our selfish love, since we would to love others much too.

Geisler, N. L., & Howe, T. A. (1992). When critics ask : A popular handbook on Bible difficulties (355). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

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