Mark 12:28-44; 1 Kings 4-5; Hosea 7:3-16
People often asked Jesus the wrong questions and Jesus had a way of responding that gave the right answer to the question that should have been asked. For instance, someone asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, and He responded with two commandments. “Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’” (Mark 12:29-31) When you think of the Ten Commandments, the “thou shalt nots” you realize that Jesus actually put the Commandments in a positive light. The first few Commandments deal with our behavior towards God and the last few Commandments deal with our behavior towards others. In short, Jesus told us to love God and love our neighbors. If we truly love God, then we wouldn’t do those things proscribed in the Ten Commandments. We would also have a relationship with Him based on love instead of fear. If we truly loved our neighbors, the same analogy would hold true. There are so many areas of relationships that Jesus moved from negative prohibitions to positive actions. As followers of Christ we aren’t supposed to spend our time worrying about what not to do with God. We are to spend our time loving God in our words and deeds. We are not to spend our time worrying about how not to treat our neighbors, we are to love them and find ways to show that love in words and deeds. If we do those things, we will truly be showing the world the difference a relationship with Jesus makes.
Lord, I love You! Help me to show that in all that I say and do. Help me to love my neighbors, even the unlovable ones; knowing that I may not always be the most lovable neighbor myself. Let my words and my actions show that I love them because of my relationship with You.