Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
1 this is the first and great commandment
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV)
I have found that these two commandments line up with the Ten Commandments, in that, the first four deal with God and the last six commandments deal with man. This is why these two commandments cover the Ten Commandments by love. Love is the first qualifier, without love we all miss the mark. Jesus called the Pharisees whited sepulchres, because they appeared righteous unto men, but were full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (Matthew 23:27-28 KJV)
God is Love. Love is God. Love is God’s innate nature. We can love, but we may never understand completely the agape or unconditional love of God, Who gave His only begotten Son to appease the judgement of all sin, of all the world, and for all times. It can be unfathomable, ineffable or even unattainable to us. But I will love God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength the best I can. It is the least I can do seeing He has shown me, a vile sinner worthy of death, and the love of giving His only begotten Son to die in my stead. But what about loving your neighbor as yourself. Is there a loop hole here? What if I don’t love myself? After all I’m a vile sinner. Thank God I’m saved by God’s grace. But to love my neighbor when I can only love myself in the best of times, now that might not be possible. So where does this leave me? It is a struggle between knowing God’s will is to love, agape love, my neighbor as myself.
Well, maybe I’m just slow, because there is a verse in which I have read numerous times but the light never came on. Jesus said,
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (John 13:34 KJV)
Yes this commandment supersedes the Old Testament Commandment. Here we have to put all thoughts, reasoning, and justifiable imaginations in the trash. We have to agape love one another as Jesus has agape loved us. There is no way around it. No loop holes can be found here. Our faith must step in at the slightest notion or premise that I cannot love that person. Sometimes it might be easier said, “Love the person, not the sin.” For we all sin, and come short of the glory of God. I must look at the plank in my own eye. Joyce Meyer once compared it to a telephone poll. Can you imagine that…
The bottom line is love, agape love. Jesus is our example, and he has given us a New Commandment to agape love one another as He has agape loved us.
Let us pray, therefore, that as God has loved us that we my love one another, and the bond of love between Creator and creation can be the bond of love between one another. Just like God the Father has loved the Son and the Son has loved the Father. Let us love the Father and Son as He has loved us. Knowing the new commandment, let us love one another as God us loved us. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.