“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.””
- The Pharisees thought Jesus would pick one of the commandments, and by doing that He would put less value on the others. Jesus, however, gave us the recipe for living the ultimate Christian life, with His answer. If we love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind, and we love our neighbor as ourselves, we will be fulfilling all the Law and the Prophets. Legalism is not what God desires, but a transformed heart, soul, and mind, is. When we are clean on the inside, Christ will be seen on the outside. All of God’s laws are based on love, and can only be successfully obeyed through love. Our attempt to seek righteousness and eternity is in vain without love for God and others.
- It is impossible to be offended if we obey these two passages of scripture. Think about the fact that Jesus was spit on, mocked, hit, whipped, and crucified, and His only response was, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. Our desire must be to walk like Jesus did, if we want true peace in our hearts. Godliness is exhibited when the way others treat us does not affect our love for them.
- If Jesus wrapped up everything with the commandments of loving God and loving others, where should the love of God, and the love of others, be in your list of priorities?
- Are you working to grow your love for others, or are you trying to justify your lack of love for them?
Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”