And the greatest of these is love! God’s love for us is beyond amazing but Jesus gave us the instruction that the greatest commandment was to love the Father and then to love our neighbors.
“34 The Pharisees learned that Jesus had made the Sadducees look so foolish that they stopped trying to argue with him. So the Pharisees had a meeting. 35 Then one of them, an expert in the Law of Moses, asked Jesus a question to test him. 36 He said, “Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?”
37 Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and most important command. 39 And the second command is like the first: ‘Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself.’ 40 All of the law and the writings of the prophets take their meaning from these two commands… None of the Pharisees could answer Jesus’ question. And after that day, no one was brave enough to ask him any more questions.” Matthew 22:34-46 CEV
The Pharisees were trying to test and even trick Jesus into a wrong answer; something that would discredit him to his followers and better yet, something that would give them place to prosecute him and silence him in public.
What Jesus did with his answer was discredit the Pharisees. By giving the answer that He did, Jesus proved that their heart’s motive was anything but love. And if they weren’t walking in love toward Him, their neighbor, they weren’t keeping what they called the greatest commandments. He went on to correct them in their thinking about the Messiah as well. No wonder they decided not to ask Him anymore questions.
The Pharisees had all the outward trappings of religion and righteousness but their hearts were wrong. It was a self-righteousness and it was religion instead of relationship. Jesus was talking about a living relationship with the Father.
As we spent time loving the Father we will reflect His love to others. The moon has no light source in itself but it reflects the light of the sun. In the same way, as we spend time absorbing the Father’s love we will reflect that love to others. We can’t give what we don’t have – so as we receive more and more love from the Father we are able to love others more.
Father, I desire to love You with all that I am and then to reflect Your love to those around me today.