This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. I John 3:16-18 NIV

And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. I John 3:23 NIV

Am I a disciple of Jesus? Are you a disciple of Jesus? If we can honestly answer these questions with yes, then our lives will be filled with examples of how we love God and others. Looking through the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John I am impacted and challenged by the many ways Jesus demonstrated his love for people.

Jesus approached, spoke with, healed, touched and prayed for beggars, paralytics, lepers, prostitutes, and demon-possessed people. In Jesus’ society and in our own, these kinds of people were outcasts, poor, perhaps dirty, and had no voice or power. Yet, Jesus met these people exactly where they were, meeting their physical and spiritual needs.

The four gospels tell us Jesus Listened to women, even gentile women, Samaritan women and prostitutes. He healed a Syrophoenician woman’s daughter who was demon-possessed, and he spent time explaining worship to a Samaritan woman. After their conversation, many in her village became believers in Jesus. Mary Magdalene was healed of demon possession, and became devoted to Jesus, and helped to support his ministry.

Jesus called men to be his followers who were uneducated, fishermen, tax collectors and zealots. He raised a young boy, a young girl and a man from the dead. He ate and stayed in the homes of tax collectors and “sinners” frequently. The religious leaders of the time, the Pharisees and Sadducees could not understand this type of behavior.

Jesus’ kingdom is an upside down one in many ways. He welcomed children, sat them on his knee, used them as examples of how we should all enter the kingdom of God, as a child. Jesus’ Kingdom, his love, compassion and forgiveness are a free gift for all.

How about you and me? Is there a way you can show love to people in your family, neighborhood, city this week? Can you encourage someone who desperately needs it today? Could you make a phone call, send an email or Facebook message, text or write an actual letter to encourage someone today? Do you have food, or supplies that could bless someone else? Can you shop and take groceries to someone who is at risk? Could you make masks for healthcare workers? Can you help with a food bank, or write a check to help your church or other organization, such as Samaritan’s Purse? Listen to “By Our Love” by For King and Country and demonstrate love this week.

By Grace Hunter