When my oldest daughter was a little girl, she one day presented me with a gift:
We had discussed (in home school Bible lessons) the importance of The Ten Commandments (listed in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5). We went on to study that according to Jesus, all the commandments really come down to just two:
"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great 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."
~ Matthew 22:36-40 (NKJV; also Mark 12:28-34)
If we love God with all we are, and if we love others as we want to be loved, we have little worry of violating The Original Ten. Jesus simplifies all of the Old Testament with these two commands.
10 —> 2
Easy? Oh no. But it is simpler. Jesus continually issues challenges that go to our core with the very simplest of truths, such as:
lust = adultery
hatred = murder
About the time we might think we're getting a handle on those two greatest commandments, we may come to realize that Jesus simplified even further, with The New Commandment:
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
~ John 13:34 (NKJV)
We can no longer get away with the lower standard of loving others as we want to be loved. We are now challenged to love others as well as God loves them.
2 —> 1
Simpler yet. More difficult yet.
Impossible for humans. Made possible by the God living within us, when we love God so well that His love naturally flows from us to one another.
More to follow ...
We love You so much, Lord. We love You not nearly enough. Please show us more of You?
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Copyright 2012, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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