Today’s Reading: Matthew 22-23
One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:35-40
I think all of us have wondered at one time or another just what our purpose is. I think the two most asked questions about our lives are: (a) The question of reason – “Why am I here?” (b) The question of value – “Do I matter?”
Ask different people these questions, and you will get you many different answers. Most Christians know their primary purpose in life. Jesus reminds us in Matthew 22:37 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. But Jesus goes on to explain our second greatest purpose: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” (v38) Paul stresses the same thing in Galatians 5:14, saying “The entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbour as yourself.” Learning to love our neighbour is therefore obviously crucial.
C.S. Lewis once said: “it is easier to be enthusiastic about humanity with a capital “H” than it is to love individual men and women, especially those who are uninteresting, … exasperating, depraved, or otherwise unattractive. Loving everybody, in general, may be an excuse for loving nobody in particular.”
Everyone needs to be understood and needs to have their problems validated, as described in Galatians 6:2. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfil the law of Christ.” Your hand of help may be God’s hand in another person’s life, but you must be willing to be interrupted and move against your fears. What changes do you have to make in order to love others?
Each day there are people all around us in need. Jesus said ‘That we should love our neighbours like ourselves. That doesn’t mean just that we shouldn’t do bad things to them. But instead, we should think ‘If I was them, what would I love someone to do for me? Then we should grab the initiative and do it!