Daily Readings and Thought for February 16th. “WHICH COMMANDMENT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL?”


 They asked Jesus the above question and his answer is simple – and we see it as embracing the fundamental principles by which we should live our lives.  His answer was, “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” [Mark 12:29-30].  We cannot love anyone until we know them – and when we love them, we first know them very well and as a result feel attracted to them and appreciative of all that they are.

But how can we know God?  Well, first, because we recognise that all that exists, as we look at the world is the result of his creative power. We see a multitude of astonishing marvels in what God has created. Second, because the more we read his word, the Bible, we see things no human could have written unaided. How important then to feed the Bible into our minds!  This will lead to us knowing God more and more – and this becomes the foundation of our love for him.  

And the nature of that love?  Some forms of love focus on the “taking”, true love focuses on the ‘giving.  ’Now Jesus, in his answer, goes on to make another point, “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” [v.31]  (Note the difference between these and the 10 commandments we read 6 days ago in Exodus 20). 

In Luke’s record of this event, this answer of Jesus is followed by the question “And who is my neighbour?” [10 v.29]  In his reply, he tells the parable of the good Samaritan. This illustrates that all humans should be “neighbours” to each other.  What a different world it would be if all people saw these two commandments as the most important of all.  We must do our part in keeping them, we can do no more.  

But, surely this will be expected of all people when Christ reigns from Jerusalem.  How wonderful to live in that kind of world!  

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