Continuing in our series about love, today I want to talk about the greatest commandments ever given in the Bible. We have seen that with the Law to offend one point is to fail in the whole keeping of the Law. In the same way, to keep this greatest commandment perfectly is to be able to keep the whole Law perfectly.
Many of us as Christians I’m sure have thought, “How did Jesus do it? How was Jesus so perfect?” And I’m here to tell you that if you master this one thing, you too can be perfect.
So without further ado, let’s start by looking at our text for this post.
35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 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.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.Matthew 22:35-40
The Greatest Commandment
These verses come from a section of the book of Matthew where Jesus is being tested. The lawyers, politicians, and religious people of the day set about to trap Jesus.
Jesus was presented with an opportunity to sin here that many of us take for granted. If you study the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and see the life of Jesus look at every place a person asks a question to Jesus.
- Some say, “If you will I can be healed…” (Matt. 8:2)
- Others say, “What would it take to enter heaven?” (Matt. 19:16-22)
These are just two of the many examples in Jesus’s life where He was presented with an opportunity to walk in LOVE.
And Jesus is saying in our text for today… “I see that you’re trying to trap Me. You’re attempting to ask Me this question to make me stumble so that you have something against Me.” But what did Jesus do? He didn’t smart mouth off – remember from the last post love is patient and kind (1 Cor. 13) – instead He answered them back with a Bible quotation and didn’t skip a beat.
Notice the request was made from a place of anger and strife, but the Word which is the power of God (aka love) diffused the situation.
So in the very answering of their question Jesus was also demonstrating to us how that love should be walked out. He didn’t rant or rave or say, “Hey you’re trying to do me wrong!” He simply spoke the Word in love.
What you say Matters
6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.Colossians 4:6
The key is this verse saying, “ALWAYS with grace, SEASONED with salt.” When something is seasoned what does that mean? You wouldn’t eat just salt, but you would put salt on your food as you eat it.
This is the same way with your conversations. You don’t have to talk all about the Bible every time you have a conversation, but season or add small bits of the word here and there.
Teenagers are the best at this when it comes to inappropriate conversations. Speak three sentences around a teenager and they can easily find 30 different ways to shift that conversation to be inappropriate.
It all comes down to what you are practicing. Jesus here was ready. He had the scriptures ready for every circumstance.
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.2 Timothy 2:15
Jesus was quickly able to answer the religious leaders of the day because He had studied the word.
Walk in Love
Think about all the commandments in the Bible.
- Don’t kill
- Don’t steal
- And Don’t commit adultery
When we look at these commandments from a place of love we realize that if we killed someone we wouldn’t be walking in love. If we stole from someone, we wouldn’t be walking in love.
When we see these commandments not as laws but as our simple fulfillment of the one command to Love God. Then all other things easily fall into place.
But as we say earlier our love for God only grows stronger as our knowledge and obedience to His Word grows.
This only makes sense. You can only love someone to the extent that you know them. It only makes sense that God is the same way.
When we love God, the natural expression of that love is to others around us.
My prayer is the same as that of the Apostle Paul’s in Philippians 1:9-11.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.
11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.Philippians 1:9-11
By walking in love, we as Christians have access to the power of God himself. The fruits of righteousness (love, joy, peace, etc.) abound in our lives. Our faith starts to work. We walk without unforgiveness or bitterness. And we gain access to the knowledge of how God wants us to live here in this life.
Walk in Love Daily
God is looking for people willing to step out in faith into a world looking to be offended and hurt, and take the love of Christ to them by walking in love. Talk with people making your conversation abound with grace and seasoned with salt each and every day.
For more posts just like this one check out the Fresh Bread page.