The Greatest

The Greatest is Love ||  Matthew 22:34-40  ||  Jan Bolton

The question was asked, “Teacher which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
We always focus on 10 commandments, but there were FAR more. But this question was being asked of Jesus as a setup. Of course, with His infinite wisdom, I’m quite sure they weren’t prepared for His answer. His answer was precise and simple, not complicated at all.

As Christians, we wrestle with trying to do what’s right. Although as life will have it, we don’t always get it right. Sometimes we find ourselves dealing with situations that make it difficult exercising Jesus’ answer. As I sit writing this devotion, I’m having a hard time dealing with a business decision. I’m finding myself having to stop re-focus and re-center my thoughts. In short, I’m having a hard time exercising Jesus’ answer. We all encounter moments that test our ability to love as Jesus instructed

There are so many conditions we can find not to love. BUT, on the other hand there are far more reasons we can find to love. When we weren’t and aren’t as close to God as we should be, He still loved and loves us. Resurrection Sunday reminds me how much He really loves us. However, amidst these challenges, we find solace in the unwavering love of God.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment.”  This could have been a mic drop moment. When we love God, we’re able to look beyond a whole lot of conditions and see more reasons to love. When we learn to model love after the way God loves, we are truly trying to live the way He wants us to live. Loving God with all our being means centering our lives on Him, prioritizing His will above all else. It means surrendering our fears, doubts and desires to His perfect love, trusting He has our best interest at heart. And when we love God wholeheartedly, we begin to see the world through His eyes – with compassion, empathy and grace.

“You shall love your neighbors as yourself.” I’m happy this commandment was rated second. Truth be told, we don’t always love ourselves. We have to learn to love ourselves first and once we do this, then we know how we should love others and can truly obey this commandment. When we take care of each other, consider others before ourselves, intercede on behalf of others, speak life into others as well as ourselves these are a few ways I see us being an extension of God. But loving our neighbors as ourselves requires a deeper introspection. It necessitates confronting our insecurities, fears, and past hurts that hinder our ability to love unconditionally. By accepting God’s love and forgiveness for ourselves, we become vessels of His love to those around us.

Why is love the greatest commandment?
Throughout the Bible it’s repeated, God is love. John 3:16-17 explains HOW much He loves us. So much that He gave His ONLY Son, the ultimate sacrifice. He wasn’t sent to judge rather to save us. 1 John 4:7-21 lets us know why we should love as He does, we should ‘love one another because love is from God.’ Love connects us to God. Love and God are the same.

So…if we can first love God, then our neighbors, then living a godly life isn’t so far-fetched. In essence, the command to love is not merely a moral obligation but a transformative journey. It’s a journey of self-discovery, healing, and redemption – one that leads us closer to God and our neighbors. And as we walk this path, may we always remember that true love is sacrificial, selfless and unconditional.

Remember this, true love is giving, expecting nothing in return.

Prayer – Lord, we thank You for your example of how to love. Your greatest example, giving us a way back to You through Your Son, Jesus. Teach us how to look beyond conditions and find more reasons to love. Amen
Posted in , ,

No Comments