ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Religion and Philosophy»
  • Christianity, the Bible & Jesus

What is the Greatest Commandment?

Updated on June 10, 2012
GodTalk profile image

I am a Christian pastor who wishes to bring glory to God in all that I do, and to help people through my writing to know Him better.

Source

Loving God with All Your Being



We are living in a society that values "looking out for number one" and seeing how we can get ahead in life. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, it is all about us. Well, the Lord Jesus Christ, from the time He began His ministry, always went against the establishment. Because man, on His own, is so far away from God and His standard, what Jesus taught always seemed so revolutionary. It still does today.


I. The Great Debate





In Matthew 22:34-40 we get one of those revolutionary teachings from our Lord. It happened when a lawyer came up to Him to test Jesus' judgement by asking a question. He said:

"Master, which is the great commandment in the law?"

By the law he was referring to the 613 commandments which were in the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah to the Jews. Searching for the one most important commandment actually was a big topic of discussion in Jesus' day. The Jews divided the Law into greater and smaller commandments. But they couldn't agree on determining which was most important. Some believed that it was the law respecting sacrifice. Others claimed that it was the law of washings and purification. And, of course there were other beliefs as to which was greatest as well. But no person was said to have the definitive answer.




II. Jesus' Answer





Jesus' reply was a direct quote from Deuteronomy 6:5 which says:

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment" (22:37).

However, our Lord takes the answer one step farther. He was the first person ever to combine Deuteronomy 6:5 withe Leviticus 19:18 in order to summarize the Law. He tells them this:

"And the second is like unto it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (22:38).

This was brilliant. The Pharisees prided themselves on meticulously keeping the law. They made sure not a jot or a tittle was missed. But the truth is, they missed the point entirely. The reason a person should want to keep the law of God in the first place, is that they love Him. Without love for who and what God is, and a desire for a deeper relationship with Him, any law a person may keep is just empty ritual. Loving God starts with God cleansing the inside. And out of a heart of love and gratitude, the Law is kept. But as implied in the second greatest commandment, it includes another love.



III. The Irrevocable Connection Between Love for God and Neighbor





From a love for God comes a fundamental love for the things, and the persons that He loves. The two cannot be separated in the law. The commandments deal with both God and people. We don't just blindly follow the commandments that say: "You shall not steal", "You shall not kill" or "You shall not commit adultery." We follow them because we love God and want to please Him. But we also follow them because we desire to see that our neighbor is treated well, and prospers in life. Just as any normal person would protect and nourish himself, and see that he receives the best that he can get out of life, a person who loves his neighbor as himself, wants that for his neighbor as well.

The Apostle John, in taking Jesus' message of love for God and for neighbor, fleshes it out. He states in I John 4:19-21 that:

"We love Him, because He first loved us. If any man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar. For he that does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, that he who loves God should love his brother also."

What John is saying is that these are two commandments that are forever connected. We can't have one without the other. Having a love relationship with God means that we love the people whom he created, even if they aren't loving to us. We treat them as we ourselves would want to be treated.



Conclusion



The truth is, that none of us is capable of loving in this way by ourselves. Not any of us is able to keep the law, due to the fact that we are sinners. The type of love that Jesus is speaking of here is Supernatural. And only one person on this earth has ever loved completely in this way. That person is the Lord Jesus Himself. It is this type of love that sent Christ to the cross (Romans 5:8).

But thanks be to God that believers in Jesus Christ have the Supernatural living in them. We have the Spirit of God who gives us the ability to fulfill these two great laws. Of course, while we are in these fleshly bodies, we will not do it perfectly. That will happen only in eternity. But we still have the possibility to come close as we mature and become more like our Lord and Savior.

This world would be a much better place to live in if we all obeyed these two great commandments of loving God with all of our heart, soul and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves. It is my hope that we who follow the God of the Bible will put them into practice on a daily basis. By seeing us doing this, the world will know that something is different about us. And they will glorify our Father in Heaven. What a wonderful priviledge that we have!








Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • GodTalk profile image
      Author

      Jeff Shirley 6 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thanks skye, and may the Lord bless you as well.

    • profile image

      skye 6 years ago

      God talk Amen and Amen. Beautiful writing in the Truth our our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Thank you. I really enjoyed the read. All Glory to God. God Bless you.

    • readwriteteach profile image

      readwriteteach 6 years ago from Midwest

      What would we be, where would we be, how could we be without the love of God. The least and most we can do is love Him and everyone right back. Thank you for a great and inspiring hub, GodTalk. God Bless, Johnna

    • GodTalk profile image
      Author

      Jeff Shirley 6 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thans Lifegate and CMerrit for stopping by.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Great hub...God really made it pretty easy for us, when you get right down to it.

      Praise God!

      Chris

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks again, GodTalk. I always look forward to reading your hubs.

    • GodTalk profile image
      Author

      Jeff Shirley 6 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Amen to that Dave!

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      God Talk: I thank My Father God, and Christ Jesus that the Holy Spirit lives within me and will never abandon me.

    • GodTalk profile image
      Author

      Jeff Shirley 6 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thanks josh3418. I really like writing about our God, and am glad there are people who enjoy reading it.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Excellent topic and great answer. Well reserached and well-written, keep up the great work. Up and useful!

    • GodTalk profile image
      Author

      Jeff Shirley 6 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thanks teacherjoe52. Take care!

    • teacherjoe52 profile image

      teacherjoe52 6 years ago

      Hi GodTalk.

      It is called Gods Law and I try to live by it every moment of every day.

      Very good artical.

      God bless you

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)