Matthew 22:35-40 35 One of them, a legal expert, tested him. 36 “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being [Deuteronomy 6:5] and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself [Leviticus 19:18]. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
In this passage we join in with Jewish Rabbis of the day in debating what commandment is the greatest. Here they ask Jesus this question and Jesus answers directly but gives them two:
The first was from Deuteronomy 6:4: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind.” The second came from Leviticus 19:18: “You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Jesus said all other truths or orthodoxies have ultimate value only as they lead us to more fully love God and neighbor. Imitating Jesus in creating loving relationships is a key to living as God calls us to live.
What Jesus is saying here is that every key principle the Bible teaches, all the truths we know about what God wants, “depend” on the two commands he quoted. In other words; the teachings of God, our beliefs, should never lead us to be unloving. Long before our modern psychological insights developed, Leviticus called God’s people to “love your neighbor as yourself.” That implicitly asked: how well can you love your neighbor if you don’t have healthy ways of loving and caring for yourself? As I read what Jesus teaches and the commands God has put before me they all center around my relationship with the Father, my relationship with me. How well have you learned to nurture and value yourself, outwardly and, even more importantly, inwardly? I hope to see you all this morning as we discuss prayer. Pastor Carl
Almighty and Holy God. I thank you for the gift of life, the teachings through Your Word and the love of Your Son, Jesus. Lord, lead me this day as I prepare to lead worship. Lead me in each encounter I will have to day. You have blessed me this morning Lord in putting me in the right place. May I have glorified Your name. Lord I ask for Your forgiveness, I ask to give me strength in forgiving others. Father I pray for this church family, for each gathering and study and for the upcoming projects and services we will participate in. Father bless the Warren church this day as well as all churches. I pray for the missions of this church. Lord, thank you as I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006