Matthew 22:37-39 NIV
These verses are Jesus’ response to the religious leader’s question about what was the greatest commandment. Just for your information, there are 613 commandments in the OT and the leaders wanted to know which one was the greatest. This, of course, was a loaded question. No matter what Jesus said, someone would have refuted His opinion. For the religious leaders, all of the laws were equal - no one was more important than the other.
Jesus turns the tables on the leaders, as He always did. He actually quotes an ancient and important old testament saying (called the Shema - found in Deut. 11:13-21) as His answer. But no, He doesn’t stop there. He adds to Shema His own twist: Love your neighbor as yourself. So first love God, then love your neighbor. This was a twist for the leaders. It wasn’t just about loving God, but this love had to manifest itself in love for others. In fact, Jesus goes on to say that all of the laws are subject to this new “law” or commandment; no law is greater than this one. This emphasis on the love of neighbor is a great example of the Kingdom of God breaking into our reality (Jesus inaugurates the Kingdom in and through His birth).
It’s one thing to go to church, Bible study, or serve in a ministry. It’s quite another to love another because God loved you. Who are you loving today? Do you know that as you love others you bring the Kingdom of God more fully into reality?
Love someone today :)