Thursday, 19 April 2018

The greatest commandment

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. – Matthew 22.35-40

So the religious guys continued to interrogate Jesus. One of them, an expert at the Law, said ‘Teacher, what is the greatest commandment of all?’

Intriguing question isn’t it. Out of all the Law which commandment is the most important of all? That sounds like some of the silly theological debates I have heard through the years or see brothers bash each other over on Facebook. Maybe they could catch Jesus out on this one.

But of course Jesus had the perfect answer.

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and love your neighbour as yourself.’ Everything hangs on this.

We make a lot of things important. Our rules or standards or man-made regulations or styles of worship or music or any number of things can cause division and angry and even hatred. We set this or that up as what is really important.

But it is all pretty simple. What God counts is if we love Him and if we love others. Love is the standard and the benchmark. Of all the questions we might ask ourselves about how we meet God’s standard the most important one is how well do we love.

Self-examination might well start with:

How much do I love God?
How much do I love people?

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