Chapter 33 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.
This week’s question: “Which is the great commandment in the law?” (Matthew 22.36).
Everyone has a purpose? We may believe we are called to teach others or take care of those who are sick. We may feel called to be full time moms or lead a large company. We may be firefighters or police officers or nannies. We may have a strong desire to use an artistic or musical talent. We can feel called to various careers or activities, but what is our primary purpose in God’s view?
Jesus went straight to the heart of that question when He was asked by a religious lawyer, “Which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Including the Ten Commandments, the Jewish Torah— comprised of the first five books of the Bible— contains 613 commandments. When the Jewish lawyer posed the question, Jesus used the phrase “first and great” to clarify that He was also taking into consideration the Ten Commandments. Jesus went on to say, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (v. 40).
Loving God (the vertical dimension of life) and loving one another (the horizontal dimension) represent all that the Ten Commandments address. The first four commandments (having no other gods before Him, not making an image or likeness, not taking His name in vain, and remembering to keep the Sabbath day) have to do with our relationship with God, the upward, or vertical, expression. The last six (honoring our parents, not murdering, not committing adultery, not stealing, not lying, and not coveting) speak about our relationship with other people, the outward, or horizontal, expression. So, although the Pharisees were “testing” Jesus when they asked this question (v. 35), He simply told them that all the commandments boil down to this: love. According to Jesus, we who are His followers are to love God supremely and to love people around us.
Most of us understand in some measure what it means to love with all our hearts. When we find that special someone in life, we focus all our attention on him or her and on building that relationship. We want to spend long periods of time just talking to each other, getting acquainted, and learning all we can about each other’s likes and dislikes.
If we love God supremely, Continue reading