Out of the 613 commandments in the Old Testament, some religious leaders wanted to know which one that Jesus thought was the most important. Not only did Jesus provide His top two commandments, but He summarized them all and gave His followers a simple direction for all of life.
28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him.33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.
- We have a dangerous tendency to separate sins into those that we think are essential and negotiable.
- It tells you something about Jesus that His answer to the greatest commandment debate highlighted love instead of obedience.
- Jesus summarized the entirety of the commandments with two instructions: love God and love others.
#1. Love God
- Deuteronomy 6:4-9
- It is unreasonable to offer anything but an unrivaled devotion to God.
- If you don’t want a part-time Savior, then stop giving Him a halfway loyalty.
- True love for the Lord encompasses the entirety of one’s being and not just certain areas.
- Heart – the driving direction
- Soul – the spiritual self
- Mind – the mental faculties
- Strength – the external evidences
#2. Love Others
- Leviticus 19:9-18
- You cannot truly love God if you do not love those created in His image.
- If you would love others the way you desire to be loved, your relationships wouldn’t suffer from your sin.
- God never grants us permission to pick and choose who deserves our love.
How am I loving God supremely? How am I loving others sacrificially?