Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Catechism #45

Q. Which is the greatest commandment?
A. The greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind; the second greatest is to love your neighbor as yourself. 

Jesus was once asked what the greatest of the commandments was. Although that question was intended to trap Jesus, He still gave a magnificent answer. He could have easily said the greatest command was not to lie, steal, or murder, but if He responded with any single command, His enemies would accuse Him of not caring about the other commands.

Jesus’ answer silenced the crowd. He responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:37-40).”

The first part of the answer is very straightforward—love God with all that you are and all that you have.

The second part is also simple: love your neighbor. Neighbors are defined in Scripture as being any person we happen to meet throughout the day, so the command is to love everyone the way we love ourselves.

Notice how Jesus actually listed all of the commandments in that answer (on these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets). If we love right we will live right. If we love God with all our hearts, we will have no other gods before Him, we will not take His name in vain, etc. If we really love our neighbor as ourselves, we will not murder them, steal from them, deceive them, etc.

Unfortunately, most Christians can’t name the Ten Commandments, but everyone can remember two. If instead of trying to memorize a list we just focused on living biblical love, we would find ourselves obeying the list we didn’t even memorize.

If you realize that you are lacking in love towards anyone, remember the premium that Jesus placed on love.

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