“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” (Jesus) said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
Have you ever had a chore or homework list that seemed way too long?
Sometimes, I look at all the things I have to do and want to give up before I even start! So I pick what’s easiest first. Maybe it’s: Get out of bed. Check. Brush teeth. Check. Eat Breakfast. Check. Once I get a few checkmarks in, it’s easier to keep going.
I think sometimes, it feels like we have to check a lot of boxes to make God happy. Don’t steal. Don’t want other people’s things. Honor your mother and father. Work hard. Turn the other cheek . . . These are just some of the rules to be a perfect person.
So when Jesus was asked, “Which commandment is the greatest?” I think the crowd expected Jesus to pick one of the Commandments. Instead, Jesus quoted a different kind of rule: Love. Love God, Love your neighbors.
Sometimes it is even harder to love than it is to do extra work. But I think the idea is that love helps us do the work, love reminds us that God is good, God’s people are good, and we are good, too.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for loving me. Thank you for teaching me how to love you because you loved me first. Help me to show Your love to the people in my life, even the people that I find hard to love. You love them, and I can, too. In Jesus name, Amen.