Look at the Old Testament as a picture. Love is the nail from which the picture hangs. Without that, the picture falls and is destroyed.
I apologize, I have been with family in California and I haven’t had the time to get a writ out to you all. But, a particular passage has been heavy on my heart and I thought I would chat it up a bit. I know I have discussed it a number of times, but I felt inclined to work on it a little more.
This particular passage is mentioned twice. Once in Matthew and once in Mark. The first part of it is a reference to Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and the second part is in reference to Leviticus 19:18. The reference is very important and I’ll explain that. I want to focus on the Matthew passage because it lends more to all that Jesus actually said. Just for the purpose of setting things up, Jesus was good at putting people in their place and so here the Pharisees were trying to trip him up. They were very jealous of Christ and they would try to cause Him trouble pretty often.
“But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?”
“Jesus said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it; ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt 22:34-40)
Now we’ve heard preachers preach and teachers teach on these scriptures. What I have is no great revelation. It is to me in that I haven’t heard what I am about to talk about. At least I can’t remember. There’s a strong possibility I have. Age. That’s one of the places it loves to nail you, you know. Your memory. Whatever! Let’s move on.
Before we discuss the statements Jesus calls the greatest commandments, I wish to point towards a couple of “peripheral” items.
Verse 40, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Remember, they did not have the New Testament at the time. It was being written as they lived. They were the New Testament. So, the great book they had was the what we know as the Old Testament. They knew it as the Law and the Prophets. So, when Jesus said this, he was referencing the greatest selection of books ever written. And the books that they guided their very lives by. Referencing the Law and the Prophets was important in that it not only showed his knowledge but was indisputable by the Pharisees.
Look at the Old Testament as a picture. Love is the nail from which the picture hangs. Without that, the picture falls and is destroyed. Do you see it? Without love, the entire Old Testament is a fraud. It’s useless. It’s ability to do what God intended it to do is a “wash” without love. If you are curious as to how important love is, now you know.
The commandments themselves are just as important. Jesus explains that you must love God with everything in you. With the 3 of who you are. Your heart, that is your spirit. Your soul, that is your body. And your mind. We are first and foremost a people of the supernatural. That part of us that God was talking about when He said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26). So God made us with a “spirit” as He was.
Then He made us a with a “natural” body. To walk in the natural world. To have physical needs and physical actions. And, to carry the spirit with in it.
Then He gave us our own mind. Something that would bring the 3 together. Something that would have the “last say” in things. That which we would have the “free will” to choose and think with. And, the source of both good and bad decision making. The part of us that will decide if we will or will not sin.
We’ll stop there…Lots more on this subject-