✝️🔎TOPIC: THE FIRST AND GREAT COMMANDMENT
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✝️📖TEXT: Matthew 22:34-40(NKJV)
34. But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.
35. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked [Him a question,] testing Him, and saying,
36. “Teacher, which [is] the great commandment in the law?”
37. Jesus said to him, ” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38. “This is [the] first and great commandment.
39. “And [the] second [is] like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40. “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
The Pharisees should have been delighted with Jesus’ answer to their greatest enemy, the Sadducees, but they were not, hence one or them versed in the law came testing Jesus’ attitude to the law. This is because the Pharisees had classified over six hundred (600) laws, and since it was too hard to obey all the laws, they tried to distinguish the more relevant ones from the irrelevant, hence the question. “Teacher which is the great commandment in the law?”
Then the reply from Jesus, which was the summary of the first part of the law – to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment (Deut. 6:5). Jesus’ response was apt, profound and exceedingly powerful, for He took the expert in law from the area of achievement – which he may have credentials of fulfilment; to that of attitude – where he cannot boast of fulfilment.
Nobody has ever loved God with all his being, so nobody by strength, can fulfil this commandment, hence no one can have eternal life or have a place in the kingdom by personal effort. We are saved by grace. If we are to have a place in the kingdom of God, it will be due to the unmerited grace of God for sinners who could never make it by themselves.
Gracious father, help me to understand that I cannot make it on my own strength. Help me to rely on Your grace in Jesus’ Name. Amen.