A Brief Valentine’s Day Thought

When asked to express the most important part of the Jewish Torah, Jesus responded by saying the most important thing we can do is love God, and love others.  Upon this all of the Law and Prophets stand.

The Greatest Commandment

  •   35  and one of [the Pharisees], a lawyer, asked [Jesus] a question to test him.  36  “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”  37  [Jesus] said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  38  This is the greatest and first commandment.  39  And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’  40  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”  (Matthew 22:35-40, NRSV)

Thus, Love, is the Greatest Commandment.  I suggest this means for us…

  •   When we are struggling over the interpretation of a given passage of scripture, or over church doctrine, we should ask in what way our understanding advances Love?
  •   When we are experiencing an internal debate about how we should respond to a given situation, or how to behave toward a certain person, we should remember Jesus’ words.  Thus, we should ask in what way our response advances Love?
  •   Do our thoughts, words, and actions advance the Love of God?  Are we promoting Love of the person standing before us?

Only when we are able to answer in the affirmative -for Love- are our actions and behaviors likely to measure up to the standard offered to us by Jesus, who believed the most important thing the Hebrew bible can teach us is Love, both for God and for others.

And I personally believe this is the most important thing Jesus teaches us:

  •   Love God
  •   Love others
  •   and by extension, Love Oneself

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