The Most Important Commandment
Posted: Tuesday, February 3
Verse of the day:
Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:37)
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they met together to question him. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question, “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the Law of Moses?” But of course Jesus knew their heart’s intent. Still, he answered them saying, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” But he didn’t stop there. He continued by saying, “A second is equally important, love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
I can only imagine how frustrating His answer was to the Pharisees. You can almost see their heads explode—especially on the, “love your neighbor,” part. They spent their lives by the letter of so many laws—piling them up onto the shoulders of others as heavy loads until they would bend under the stress of so much legalism. And here Jesus sums up what is really important in two simple, yet profound statements—love God, love each other. Everything the Pharisees had learned in a lifetime of study was rooted in those statements—can it really be that simple?—Yes!