First, we read well over a dozen passages from the New Testament which talk about Jesus' love, compassion, and mercy. Here are two:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. (John 3:16–17)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34–35)
But then we asked the question, "If Jesus is really all about love, then what's different about the love that Jesus teaches, as compared to the teaching of other philosophers and religious teachers?"
Isn't that a claim you've heard people make? That Jesus' teaching boils down to the same moral message as Gandhi's, Buddha's, Lennon's, Gaga's…? Have you made that claim? What's supposed to be so different about Jesus' teaching? Is there anything different?
Here's one big way to answer the question…
Remember, the greatest commandment is, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength." Only after this commandment does Jesus say that the second greatest commandment is, "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:28–31). Any system of love that gets rid of the first part—loving the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength—is not pleasing to God. It cannot please Him! How could it?
The beauty of it is, God's love and forgiveness liberate us to start loving and forgiving others as we ought. But until you've confessed your own sin and been reconciled to God, you will not be able to love others rightly, because you will not know what it is to love or be loved, to forgive or be forgiven.
So, the next time someone tries to claim that Jesus was "all about love," just like other religious teachers and philosophers, try saying that Jesus said it was more important to love Him than to love other people, and see where things go from there!