Ahav: Greater Love Has No One Than This…
Updated: Apr 4
The Hebrew word for “love” in this commandment is ahav. This kind of love is an action, not just an emotion.
See also: Chesed
And he said to him, “You shall love [ahav] the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love [ahav] your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” -Matthew 22:37-40 ESV
Its last two letters spell yahab, which means “to give.”
Ahav love means to give selflessly to another, which strengthens the relationship. The more they give to each other, the closer their connection becomes. One of the best demonstrations of this is the ahav love between husband and wife.
Why does God define this ahav love for Him as loving our neighbor? It doesn’t matter how much we like God himself, true love for Him is shown in our love for everyone around us.
The reason is that we all carry God’s image. If we hate or do harm to God’s image–we are doing so to God himself.
In other words: “Love your neighbor who is as yourself.”
Loving God means caring for His Image in others through our generous actions. It’s treating others with the same dignity, value, and respect as we desire for ourselves.
And ultimately, it means helping to lead them closer to Yeshua.
Thank you, Yeshua, for Your ahav love for me! Thank you for washing me clean so I can be made again into Your image! I deeply desire to show my love for you by genuinely loving everyone around me. Show me where I need to forgive. Show me practical ways to put my faith into action and lead others toward You.