Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
All you need is love, right? Matthew 22:34-46 refines this idea quite a bit. What is the greatest commandment of God? We are to love the Lord, God, the one revealed in the Bible, with all we are and all we have.
Many in our world want to fixate on the idea of love. But they have a warped idea of what love looks like. Maybe it’s self-love. Maybe it’s love of some sort of idea. Maybe it’s love of their family, their planet, their educational institutions, their political parties, their favorite bands, their pets. But the love God calls us to in Scripture is love of Him. And he is no figment of our imagination God. There’s no room for that “God as you view it” sort of faith. This is one, very particular God. He allows for no substitutes.
What kind of love are we to have for God? It is unconditional, perfectly trusting, 24/7/365 love. That’s what God commands. How in the world are we supposed to do that? By trying really hard? That still won’t work. There have already been times in any life when we have not loved the Lord with all our being. We are all guilty.
That’s where the second great command comes in. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. On the surface, that simply convicts us more. We haven’t loved our neighbor as ourselves. Most of the time, even the most generous and kind of us will hold back privilege for ourselves. It’s perfectly normal.
What hope is there? There’s great hope in this passage. Jesus has perfectly kept these two commands, and He has done it on our behalf. He has loved God the Father perfectly. And he has loved us, his neighbors, as himself. This means that whenever we have failed he has given us his perfect obedience. Whenever we have fallen short, he has taken our shortcomings upon himself and replaced them with his love. In all things, Jesus has loved us, his neighbors, as himself. We are presented to the Father clothed in Jesus’ perfect righteous obedience. This is the great good news of the Gospel. God has given us an unconditional, perfectly trusting, 24/7/365 love for him, through faith in Jesus the Son.
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