When Jesus said "Love your neighbour", did he mean it to be conditional or unconditional?


Conditional love and unconditional love do not reconcile in language. “Unconditional” is the opposite of “conditional” as “sweet” is to “bitter”.

When Jesus preached “Love your neighbour as yourself”, was he preaching sweet, unconditional love or bitter, conditional love?

Christmas approaches. In the vain of the three wise men, in order to earn riches (gold) in heaven, does one practise unconditional love like sweet frankincense or conditional love like bitter myrrh?

It is a binary choice because “unconditional” and “conditional” are mutually exclusive. Which is the “love” in “Love your neighbour as yourself”? Unconditional love or conditional love?


If you love your neighbour as you would love a member of your family then I think you might see how to love that person. At first we might just like them as a distant cousin but grow to like them far more as we get to know them. Liking is the beginning of love, liking is on the scale of love and perhaps that liking will grow sufficiently that we may find ourselves in accord with Our Lords teaching.

The ideal is unconditional love but for a mere mortal that may be difficult to do in practise, nevertheless if we approach an individual with the idea that we will offer them unconditional love that would enable an initial favourable interaction.


I would guess it was unconditional love because that is what Jesus offered. I know that God loves me unconditionally, he doesn’t love my sins but does not abandon me when I sin or am grumpy, out of sorts or opened my big mouth without praying first.


You didn’t answer the question. I’m not asking what a mortal might be capable of. I’m asking what Jesus taught.

The Good Samaritan showed unconditional love to a stranger who didn’t share his beliefs. The love he showed wasn’t the successful result of an aspiration, surely?


You asked the above, meaning what kind of love should a mortal offer.

Jesus taught us unconditional love was necessary.

The Good Samaritan offered unconditional love.

The same as I offer you right now :pray:



However, this is not the same as approving everything they do or let them take advantage of you.

Love means to will the highest good of another.


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