“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” –Galatians 5:13-14
The kingdom of Cyrus the Great is said to have been the most expansive kingdom the world has ever seen. By conquering much of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, the Persian king Cyrus created an empire like none had ever seen. His rule lasted nearly thirty years, and during that time he was credited with much military success, political advancement, and religious contributions (through the Edict of Restoration given to the Jewish people). Cyrus was known as a strong leader with respect for the lands he conquered. He often allowed the people of the land to retain their cultural and religious practices without Persian intrusion.
The story is told of an instance of Cyrus’ kindness to the prince of a conquered land. As was Cyrus’ custom with resistant rulers, the prince and his family were captured and sentenced to prison. Yet before the prince was taken away, he beseeched Cyrus to release him from bondage. Cyrus asked the prince, “What will you give me if I release you?” Sir, I will give you half of everything I own,” proposed the prince. “What about for the release of your children?” “I will give you everything I possess.” Cyrus pressed on, “And what about for your wife?” Without hesitating the prince replied, “I will give myself so she might be free.” Moved by the man’s love for his wife, Cyrus ordered they be released and sent them home. As they traveled home, the prince commented to his wife, “Wasn’t Cyrus a handsome man?” She replied, “I couldn’t tell. I was focused on the man who offered himself for my freedom.”
The prince’s love for his wife was so strong that he would have offered himself as a slave so his wife might be set free. He showed that true love offers not empty promises, but backs up those promises with actions.
Paul teaches the Galatians a lesson about love, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” The Jewish people were taught the Ten Commandments, the law, from a young age. They knew what to do and what not to do. Yet Paul showed them God’s most important law-the law of love. –From Daily in the Word