37 ...You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
What is the great commandment in the Law? This was the question that the Pharisees put before Jesus in an effort to entangle him in his words. Jesus’ response was Deuteronomy 6:5, to “…love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Jesus was saying that the greatest commandment in all of scripture is to love God with the entirety of our being. The single most significant thing that we can do with our lives is to love God with all our heart and with our my soul and with our my mind. Upon thinking about the implications of this statement, it could seem extreme, and it is! Keep in mind the only reason we’re able to love Him like this is because He first loved us. Where do we see this love displayed? In the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus himself. Not only is this the greatest commandment, but Jesus said it’s the first commandment; it’s the gateway to fulfilling any of the other commandments.
It is through loving the Lord your God with your entire being that you are able to even consider a second commandment. “A second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” When we truly love and know God we begin to love what he loves, and He loves people. When we love someone else we begin to love what they love and desire what they desire, we begin to have shared passions. One of our shared passions with God is a love for our neighbor. We are able to love other people with this same love because we have experienced it firsthand! Jesus’ life and death was the perfect example of this self-denying love and we are called to do the same.
May we continue to grow in our love for God and may the Holy Spirit empower us to truly love our neighbor as ourself.
Song by Ryan Gikas.
Production, recording, & mix by Dustin Ragland.
Artwork by Chris Wright.