The Meaning of Love

When Jesus instructed His disciples to love one another, He employed the Greek term agapaō, which is translated as love over 135 times in the New Testament of the King James Version.  Jesus said, “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).

The English word for love does not have the same degree of precision as the Greek term Jesus used. Agapao is a verb which means do caring things, or act caringly.

Vine observes, “Christian love, whether exercised toward the brethren, or toward men generally, is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered. Love seeks the welfare of all, Rom. 15:2, and works no ill to any, 1 Cor. 13:8-10; love seeks opportunity to do good to ‘all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith,’ Gal. 6:10.” (citing Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, p. 105).

John, who penned Jesus’ words in John 13:34, later wrote, “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:17-18).

Love is a caring attitude that has moved into compassionate action.