“All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
None of us likes to be upstaged by anyone. It makes us feel dumb, especially if others are watching. No one wants to be embarrassed. The Pharisees were not going to be stomped on by some “fly by night” rabbi named Jesus. They were the real scholars; they had been to the best schools, studied under the best professors, and graduated at the top of their class. The Pharisees had the question they believed would stop Jesus in his tracks: “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” They thought, “This will trick him, and then people will know that he isn’t as smart as he thinks he is.”
The Pharisees based their lives on acquiring knowledge to boost their egos and reputations. Jesus used his knowledge to bring sinners to the Father’s love. The most important answer to the question is quite simple: love God and love others. The Pharisees were not loving God for God’s sake, but for their sake. They loved God with their minds but refused to love people God’s way.
How would you answer the question if you were asked? Are you loving God with all of your passion, intelligence, and strength? It requires a childlike faith in the One who first loved us. Are you loving your neighbors on your block and at work Jesus’ way? It requires experiencing the abundant love that Jesus has lavished on us. It’s a question worth answering!
Master, I struggle to love you with all my heart, soul, and mind. I’m challenged to love my neighbors the way you do. Help me to love you and others your way today. Amen.
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