The main hallmark of Jesus’ teaching is love. He told His disciples this very thing in John 13:34-35. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Jesus' teaching was radical in many ways. One challenging command is to love not only those who love you, but your enemies, as well. He said, "I tell you who hear Me: love your enemies; do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you…Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." (Luke 6:27-36)
Not only did Jesus teach love, but He showed us how to love in a godly way. Jesus forgave people their sins when they came to Him. "One day as He was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for Him to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, He said, 'Friend, your sins are forgiven.'" (Luke 5:17-26)
Jesus was also filled with compassion for those who had needs. "Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." (Matthew 9:35-38) This was a frequent occurrence for Him and not just something He felt only occasionally. His love was not limited to His friends and those He knew. The Bible says, "God is love." (1 John 4:8) Christ's very nature, as God, is love.
To follow Jesus’ example is to be filled with love for God and those around you. Jesus didn’t just tell us this: He demonstrated it in both His life and His death. Isn’t this something better than what other religious leaders and belief systems offer?