In Matthew 22:36-39 a Pharisee, hoping to stump Jesus, comes and asks: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 36
The Pharisee thought Jesus should say all of the commandments came from God and all of them were great, right? I mean, that does make sense, doesn’t it? However…
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” 37-39
Jesus gave the Pharisee those two commandments because they cover all the other commandments combined. That’s what made them so great. If we love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, and mind, it should be naturally easy to also love our neighbor as our self. And if we happen to not like ourselves very much, we know we are valuable because we are made by God, and made in God’s very image.
However, in our fallible and errant condition, that’s not so easy at all. We often struggle to just be nice to our own family and friends. Yet as followers of Christ we are told we must demonstrate love and respect to all people, including those we don’t like, love, or agree with.
It’s God’s way.
Even those who rub us wrong? Yes!
Well then, they should be nice back to us if we are nice to them. Isn’t that common courtesy? Continue reading