Lord, I do love You with my whole heart, soul, mind and strength.
Read MATTHEW 22:34–46
The Greatest Commandment
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Whose Son Is the Messiah?
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”
“The son of David,” they replied.
43 He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says,
44 “‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
under your feet.”’
45 If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” 46 No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
What are your priorities for today? Do you have plans already made, or are you open to change? Invite God into your schedule.
We would expect the final question posed to Jesus to be the most explosive, the one that should demolish his claim to who he is. The Pharisees even trot out their key player, their expert, to challenge him. Yet in the end this is no insurmountable test for Jesus. His answer is orthodox: the greatest commandment is found in Deuteronomy 6:5—to love God with your whole being. These words were repeated daily by Jewish people as part of the Shema prayer. God must come first. Of consummate interest is that Jesus immediately links this to human behavior. “Love your neighbor as yourself” completes the dual focus of a life of faith. Everything is summed up by these two commands.
Augustine’s words “Love God and do as you please” works for me as a basic philosophy of life. Similarly, posing the question “What would Jesus do?” helps when I’m faced with a quandary. If I could see the world through God’s eyes, if Jesus were to step into my situation, then I would know how to react. As it is, it is only through offering the whole of my being to him—my emotions, my spirit, my intellect—that I can begin to glimpse what life would be like if he were in charge. So acting lovingly towards those I meet and those whose lives I affect in a wider context must start with knowing God himself and his revelation to me in Jesus.
Finally, Jesus poses his own question: “What do you think about the Messiah?” (42). It is now the Pharisees who beat the retreat. Without a word being said, clearly here is someone who offers them the biggest challenge to their authority that they have ever faced.
Look again at today’s schedule. What would a loving God do in the hours that remain today? Do you need to make any changes?
Lord, we continue to be amazed at Your towering superiority over Your enemies while You were on earth.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.