This week we go right to the heart of Christian living, as Jesus answers the question, “Which is the most important commandment?”
Read Matthew 22:34-40. Have you ever been asked a tricky question? “How do you grow seedless grapes?” Or “Why do you never see a baby pigeon?”
An expert in religious law asks Jesus a tricky question. Or, at least one that had been debated amongst religious teachers and leaders for thousands of years: Which of the 613 laws of Moses was most important?
Jesus’ answer is not unexpected. First, he quotes from the daily prayer those of the Jewish faith recite at the beginning and end of each day:
Deuteronomy 6:5 NLT
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.
You are here to learn to love God. Nothing else comes close. Not your achievements. Not your accomplishments. Not your acquisitions. You are here to learn to genuinely love God with your heart, soul, and mind, and to focus on giving yourself wholeheartedly to him.
Secondly, Jesus quotes from Leviticus 19:34:
Leviticus 19:34 NLT
Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
The second most valuable thing in life is to learn to love others. We are to give ourselves away to them and ensure we do to them only things that are good.
If you want to know what God’s will is for your life, then there it is: Love God and love others. That’s the best practical advice I can offer anyone! How far are you following it today?
THINK IT OVER
• How do you like the way Jesus reduces the whole of the Law down into two simple statements?