A teacher of the Law once asked Jesus a sincere question about the greatest commandment (Mark 12:28), and here was Jesus’ response: Love God with all everything you are, and love your neighbors too! – Mark 12:29-31. He was quoting Deut.6:5 and Lev.19:18.
This phenomenal response reveals many things to us, some of which I will briefly talk about:
1. All the Laws are important and MUST be Obeyed
I can assume that the reason this teacher of the Law asked Jesus this question about the most important command was maybe because he wanted to know which command carried the most weight so he could gear his efforts and attention towards adhering to it in a bid to please God better. Well, if so, he guessed wrong! The amazing answer from Jesus reveals a two-in-one instruction that is regarded by Jesus as the most important – and they are not even a part of the 10 commandments! Don’t get the idea now that the other commandments are less important, they all are important. But Jesus pointed these two are most important because of how all the others anchor on this most important instruction – which leads me to my second point.
2. Love is the Summary of the Law
Jesus was right when he said, “on these two commands hang all the law and the prophets“. Think about it, when these two are settled and in place, all other instructions will be obeyed without breaking a sweat! DO you see why they are so important now? There’ll not even be a need for the 10 commandments! You’ll not serve other gods if you really love God! You also will not steal from or kill your neighbor if you really love him! It is so logical and true! Love anchors all commands, it is a summary of the whole Law. But then, these two commands had been given long ago during Moses’ time (Deut. 6:5 and Lev. 19:18), yet the people had still not gotten a hold of it. There was a huge problem! Next point…
3. Man is incapable of Love.
And when I say “man”, I obviously mean the whole of humanity – both men and women. We are incapable of love! This is why these commands were given in the first place, to help us produce those actions and results that would have naturally sprung up if we actually knew how to love.
You see, love is deeper than emotions, it is a command, an action with results to show. All through scriptures, whenever love is defined, it was connected to an action (see Romans 13, or 1, 2 and 3 John). Though the three words “I Love You” are probably the most used words in the English Language, there’s still so much evil, selfishness, narcissism and wickedness in the world today. How absurd! I would say it is because we’ve demoted love to be just an emotion, a feeling. So at that time, no matter how God’s people tried to obey, they just could not and were doomed to experience God’s wrath. But then God came through! Last point…
4. God made a Way.
In our depravity and inability to love neither God nor our neighbors, God reached out to us and saved the day! That’s what it means when the Bible says “we can now love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God transformed us and replaced our stone hearts with hearts of flesh! We are now new creatures, revived in our spirits by the Holy Spirit, now capable of love (Romans 5:5). We who were once incapable of love are now the standards of it, the examples the world needs to see. Anyone that truly loves is born of God who is love, and knows God! (1 John 4:7-8)
In conclusion, we are guaranteed of God’s unconditional love which He proved to us by acting on the cross, saving us when we did not deserve it, and pouring out the gift of His Holy Spirit upon us. We have now been commissioned and empowered by that same Holy Spirit to replicate His love in our world.
Represent God well!
Let his love be undeniable as you walk amongst the people of this world who desperately need it!
Grace and Peace,