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Meditation 219
A Strange Kind of Love

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Dear D. Y.

Thank you so much for writing to tell me "Jesus loves you."

As it had been a full eight days since anyone had sent me this message, I was beginning to hope Jesus had transferred his unrequited affections elsewhere. But it was not to be.

Probably, in sending this message of love on to me, you were influenced by Matthew 22:39. (You shall love your neighbour as yourself .) But what does that mean, particularly as one might have very little love available for neighbours after fullfilling the previous commandment in Matthew 22:37? (You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.) It does not seem this leaves any room for loving anyone else.

But then there is Luke 14:26 which explained everything to me. It says: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple."

So, if I were to follow your Jesus, I would be expected simultaneously to love my neighbour as myself, and to hate my own life. Logically the intended message is "Hate your neighbour." And that way, I can give all my love to God and Jesus. Apparently, Jesus does not want us loving anyone else.

I think I'll take a pass on your religion. I'm not interested in hating myself, nor my family, nor my neighbours, nor any one else.

As for Jesus and his supposed love for me - well if a living person offered me that type of love, I would feel I should take out a restraining order.