February 04, 2019

The Greatest Commandments

Matthew 5:13-20

“Anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands... will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

—  Matthew 5:19

The heart of God’s law is love. The law is a set of guidelines, given by a loving Father to his children for living in this world. In his teaching about the law, Jesus begins by telling people that he came to fulfill the law, not to do away with it. He came to show everyone how to live by the law of love.

He explains that it’s important not to do away with even the smallest part of the law. And then he raises the bar by saying we should not only live by the law but also teach it. Jesus wants everyone to know how to live the best way, and that the best way is love.

Do you know the two greatest commandments? Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31). These two commands sum up the whole law of God for the best way of living.

Practice and teach God’s law of love, and you will be great in the kingdom of heaven. May we find ourselves living and teaching by the radical love of Jesus. Life in the kingdom of heaven means not just believing in God’s great love but also living by it.

Father God, thank you for revealing to us how to live in your kingdom here on earth. Help us to honor and show your amazing love in all we do. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Dale Melenberg

Dale Melenberg is a second-career pastor. He received a theology degree through Calvin Theological Seminary and a doctorate of ministry degree at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is married to Gloria, and together they have raised three sons and are enjoying their four grandchildren. Growing up in an immigrant community shaped Dale’s view of family, church, and community in a profound way that continues to inform his life-view toward kingdom living with God, neighbors, and the creation.

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