When Jesus was asked, “Which is the greatest commandment . . . ?” he quoted Deuteronomy 6:5, saying we should love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind. And he didn’t stop there. He also quoted from Leviticus 19:18: “Love your neighbor as yourself,” saying that this second commandment is like the first. What did he mean by this?
Jesus knew that we humans cannot love God in an isolated relationship. We cannot love God and despise people created in God’s image. In fact, perhaps the clearest way that we can show our love for God is to love other human beings, whom he loves.
And how do we love people well? By coming again and again to God in prayer and in learning from his Word. In the Bible we discover God’s character, and, guided by the Holy Spirit, we can show by our words and actions what we have learned about God’s love.
Jesus also explained that if we are worshiping God and seeking to do his will, and we remember there is something broken in our relationship with another person, we should try to find forgiveness or reconciliation with that person. Then we will be in the right space for loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind.
Father in heaven, as I come to you and seek to serve you, by your love and grace guide me to reconcile with others whom I have wronged. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.
2 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.
6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.