Reading: Matthew 22:34-40
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” v.36
Jesus’ answer to the Pharisee’s question was from Deuteronomy 6:5. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” That should have been sufficient—one question, one answer. But the Lord carried on—let me tell you as well the second because it is like the first: “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). It’s like the two commandments are inseparable—and yes, they are. In 1 John 4:20 we read: “If anyone says, ‘I love God’, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”
Tough. And yet doable—when we have His Spirit (I John 4:13)—the Spirit of this same God whom in his love for us even when we were still sinners sent His Son to take our place of punishment by dying on the cross (I John 4:10); the Spirit of the God who is Love Himself (I John 4:8).
“And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” – I John 4:21