Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Jesus Christ brought together all of the Old Testament Law in His commandment to love God and love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). Then He gave us an even greater command. We are to love others as He has loved us (John 15:2).
All the law is fulfilled in the perfect sacrifice of Jesus for our sins. We fulfill this commandment of Christ by loving our neighbors as ourselves (Galatians 5:14) and bearing each other’s burdens.
“Give me understanding, Lord, and I shall keep your law. Yes, I shall observe it with my whole heart” (Psalm 119:34). But I can never keep all of the Old Testament Law, Jesus! Only your love, Jesus, fulfills all the Law (Galatians 5:7-14). Give me spiritual understanding. What does this mean for my life?
Jesus’ commandment (or the spiritual revelation of it that God had given to man through His Word) was nothing new to God. But it was never clearly seen by man because of the darkness that separated him from God.
However, when a man believes in Jesus, he is delivered from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the love Jesus has purchased for him (Colossians 1:8). In the light of Jesus’ love, this darkness is removed, and the old commandment of love becomes new through the example of Jesus’s life laid down for us. Christ reveals a way to love that the world has never before experienced.
The love of Jesus died for us. We love others as Christ has loved us by bearing the burdens of others. And in doing this, we fulfill His New Covenant commandment that summed up all of the Old Testament Law.
The word “burden” in Galatians 6:2 is translated as a “heaviness, weight, trouble” in Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon. This can be such a heavy weight that if the burdened person has no help in carrying it, he will be overwhelmed. This may be either a sin (Galatians 6:1) or a trouble in life.
We fulfill Christ’s law of love when we bear one another’s burdens. Our love must go beyond just seeing others hurt to helping them carry their load. If it is within our power to lessen their pain, we should allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to us how we can help them overcome their sin or trouble.
Our human love achieves nothing. It is only the love of Jesus in us that loves without judgment and condemnation. We choose to extend Christ’s Law of Love and act upon the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Then the person who is suffering can find Christ’s strength to overcome.
Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
© 2023 Lynn Lacher