Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Who Do You Love?

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22:37-40

The Pharisees were always trying to trap Jesus by asking what they thought to be trick questions. They reasoned that if they could ask Him a question, and then show by His answer that He was either violating either the law of Rome, or the Law of God, they would finally be able to get rid of Him. In every case Jesus was able to show them that they were wrong in their assumptions, and that their testing Him showed their own ignorance. This passage is no exception.

The Sadducees had tried to trap Jesus with a question about marriage and the afterlife. The interesting thing about their question is that the Sadducees didn't believe in an afterlife or in a resurrection. When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees they got together and one of their experts then asked Him which commandment was the greatest.

Jesus didn't even hesitate in His answer; He immediately said, "Love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind." The interesting thing here is that this answer that Jesus gave covers the first four of the ten commandments. If you love God with your whole being, you will not have another God before Him, you will not have any idols, you will not misuse His name, and you will keep the Sabbath day. Then Jesus adds that the second greatest commandment is to "Love your neighbor as yourself." This covers the next six of the ten commandments; a person who loves their neighbor will honor their parents, they will not murder, they will not commit adultery, they will not steal, or lie, or covet their neighbors possessions, because each of these thing will cause harm to their neighbor.

In these four short verses we see not only the wisdom of Jesus when dealing with the Pharisees, we also see a pattern for us to live by today. Take some time today to ask God to show you anything that is causing you to not love Him with your whole being, or anything you may be doing that is not showing love to your fellow man. When He does, repent, ask His forgiveness, and make the necessary corrections in your life. You will be glad you did.
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