Love: the Great Commandment
July 11, 2023

Today’s 333 Devotional: “Love: the Great Commandment”

Love is life’s driving priority. Jesus made love life’s defining principle. He does so in several ways. The first way is stating that our love for God and for others is the first and greatest commandment.

“‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)

Some have shortened this to “Love God and love people.” But I think this is too simplistic and doesn’t accurately convey what Jesus means by placing these together as being first and second.

By saying that the second is like the first, Jesus is saying that if you want to love God with the whole of who you are, that is with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, then the way you show Him you love Him like this is by loving others.

And as awesome as that revelation is, it doesn’t do justice to what Jesus said at the end. This is found in Matthew’s gospel.

Jesus said, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:40).

Imagine that! The whole of the law and all the writings of the prophets, all 39 books of the Old Testament, literally hundreds of thousands of words that are inspired by God and written down about how we are to live life; words about God’s relationship with humanity and all of creation; words on life and living, on family and relationships. The entirety of God’s moral instruction for a joy filled and prosperous life are captured in these two commandments about love that Jesus calls great.

And this is just the start of what Jesus has to tell us about why love is so important, and so is love the greatest of commandment of them all.

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