The Greatest Commandment
A Pharisee approached Jesus and asked which commandment is the most important. In general, Pharisee's favored the first four commandments, which focus on man's duty to God. The remaining six commandments focus on man's responsibility to others.
Jesus responded, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself”. In an instant, God collapsed all the commandments down to one, which was simply "to love".
From the surface, it appears God's request is very simple; however, we all know from practical experience that consistently loving others and putting God first without his help is impossible. Thankfully this is the conclusion that Jesus wants us to reach. Once we understand that we cannot consistently love without God's help, he will come into our hearts and help us achieve the seemingly impossible.
Ok, it's easy to love family (most of the time) and those who love you. In contrast, it's very difficult to love the guy who just cut you off or sped up when you were trying to merge into the other lane. It's also difficult to love someone who is simply unlovable.
In studying Jesus' life, we see a man who was continually disrespected; yet, he always responded with love and compassion. The Pharisees continued to approach Jesus in hopes of making him look foolish in front of all the people. Jesus always responded with dignity while gently and often indirectly rebuking the Pharisee's intentions. It would have been so easy for Jesus to “literally” destroy his enemies. Personally, I'm very thankful that God is love.
Let's start today asking Jesus to fill our hearts with his love, which will allow us to be a wonderful example of his love.