Tag Archives: Matthew 22:34-46

Most Important of All

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I wanted to know
what The Most Important thing was,
which of all God’s words
was the greatest?
What it was most crucial to follow.

Jesus summed it all up in two phrases for me,
Love God
with everything you have got
and love your neighbour
as yourself.

So ‘all’ I have got to do
is love God,
my neighbour
and myself.

It sounds so easy put like that,
I could not disagree.

But actually,
when you think about it,
that is the whole world,
it encapsulates everyone.

Love of God is at the root,
in that is the love for the rest.
If my focus is on loving God,
love for everyone else
should flow through that.

If I can love myself,
in the knowledge
of the depths of God’s love for me,
I should be able to dwell in that love,
soak in it,
so that love overflows in me
onto all those around me.

All bound together
in a circle of love,
mutual support
and fellowship.

Lord,
may I learn to truly love you,
that you are
the most important thing
in my life,
and I may give you
all that I am.

I come
to let you love me.
To stay here,
as your arms stretch out
and hold me tight
– comforting,
healing,
warming,
letting me know
that I am known
and loved.

May I allow your love to sink deep into me.
And from there,
may I be at the point
of being able to love others,
from the security of knowing what I mean to you.

The Greatest Commandment

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’

The Question about David’s Son

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: ‘What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?’ They said to him, ‘The son of David.’ He said to them, ‘How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying,
“The Lord said to my Lord,
‘Sit at my right hand,
   until I put your enemies under your feet’ ”?
If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?’ No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

Matthew 22: 34-46

The Most Important Thing

Priorities.  We all have them.  What matters most?  In a whole list of things, what is the absolute crux of the matter?  Where should our focus be?

Matthew 22:34-46 (CEV)

The Most Important Commandment

34 After Jesus had made the Sadducees look foolish, the Pharisees heard about it and got together. 35 One of them was an expert in the Jewish Law. So he tried to test Jesus by asking, 36 “Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus answered:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40 All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.

About David’s Son

41 While the Pharisees were still there, Jesus asked them,42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose family will he come from?”

They answered, “He will be a son of King David.”

43 Jesus replied, “How then could the Spirit lead David to call the Messiah his Lord? David said,

44 ’The Lord said to my Lord:
    Sit at my right side
until I make your enemies
    into a footstool for you.’

45 If David called the Messiah his Lord, how can the Messiah be a son of King David?” 46 No one was able to give Jesus an answer, and from that day on, no one dared ask him any more questions.

The man who asks this question, is only trying to trip Jesus up; trying to get him to say something that will incriminate him and give them a chance to get rid of him.  He is not seeking to know where his priority is, but in his question, we find out where Jesus’ priority is – the basis for his life, work and what he is trying to teach.

As Jesus answers he underlines the priorities and basis for ‘getting it right‘, living God’s way.  He gives not one, but two intertwined rules:

“Love God” without that as our basis, we will get nowhere.  Whatever we try to do to live his ways will fail and be meaningless.  We can only do anything effectively if it stems from our love for God.  But this isn’t the wishy-washy might change our mind tomorrow love of ‘I love chocolate’, or ‘I love this jumper’.  This is the love and commitment of everything we have – “love God with all your heart, soul and mind” – everything, our emotions, our will, every part of our being, the very depths and essence of who I am.

That is the basis for our love.  But it is not an abstract love.  We don’t just go around with a warm fuzzy feeling about God – we have to act on it, it has to inform how we respond in all situations.  And so the second part comes,

“Love others as much as you love yourself” – loving God must lead to a response.  True love of him will involve love of everyone else, treating them and acting towards them as if they are the God we love.  That is measured against how much we love ourselves.

There are two main problems that can get in the way of that: either we love ourselves too much, or we don’t love ourselves enough.

If we love ourselves too much, we can’t see the other person and their need.  It becomes all about me, making sure I have what I need, that things work for me and my ways.  I am all-consuming and others are missed.

If we don’t love ourselves enough, the problem can go one of two ways.  Either I am so insignificant, that I can’t see how you can be of any worth either; or I feel so badly about myself, I have to spend my time making sure people see me and love me (which probably comes across as loving myself too much), and I have little energy left for anyone else.

This is why these three things go together.

In our love of God, can we find a proper love of ourselves?  A perspective of ourselves that recognises our worth and loveliness, but also our place in God’s love.  From that we have time and energy to see others for who and where they are – and love them with the same love God empowers us with.

So love, intertwined between ourselves, God and all those others.  Love as the priority, the foundation, the most important thing.  All flowing from the love God has for us.

Help me Lord
to live in your love,
the knowledge of the depth
of your love for me.

In and through that,
May I love you,
learn a proper love for myself
and live in true love of others.

Here is Love

Lessons in Love

So the Pharisees and Sadducees, the ‘powers that be’, are still trying to catch Jesus out.

Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?

How sad that they didn’t really want to know the answer, for it might have got them out of their mindset of continually trying to trip others up!

For Jesus tells them,

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

What matters is loving God.

Not looking over your shoulder; not sifting through the minutiae of other people’s lives to see if they are “doing the right thing” (in your opinion of course);  not  thinking up difficult obstacles to stop people truly meeting with God, bringing freedom to people; not binding them in ridiculous laws.

Just loving God.  Focussing on him.  Thinking of all he has done, and responding to it.

And focussing on God, will bring about only one action:

‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’

Loving God will be the basis for living that out in love of others – and love of ourselves.

And loving others, and ourselves through the eyes of loving God.  So seeing what he sees, not what we think we see.

It can be hard to love others, but it can be so much harder to love ourselves…

It can be hard to love others unless we can love ourselves – and accept the love that God has for us – and for them.

God’s whole reason is love.

He pours out his love for us, and in him we discover the true meaning of love.  Without love, we miss the whole meaning of what wants to do, in us and through us.  Everything he does and says hangs on love.

 

Take some time to reflect on the depth of God’s love for you, and respond to him.

Perhaps this video might help