A few days ago I was in a class, where the teacher talked about relationships and love. He shared on how the famous 10 commandments in the Old Testament are all about relationship – with God and with people.
So often, we tend to look at what God/Jesus is saying as commandments to follow, rules to obey, when all along, they’re of a relational nature. God is telling us what He cares about; giving us a piece of His heart.
We proceeded to look at what we need and also need to give others, in order to be loved/love them:
Grace and compassion
Time and attention
Identity and value
And it really struck me how it is important for God that I listen to Him and care about what He has to say. Just like with any other friend. No, it’s not like I haven’t taken time to listen to Him before, or that I don’t treasure what He tells me, but I’ve never thought of it quite this way before. Giving God time and attention isn’t just a wise thing to do for your own sake. It’s something that really touches God Himself.
We went on to look at Matthew 22:36-40:
“Teacher, (Jesus) which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (NIV)
There are three things I have to say about this passage today:
1) Clearly, it matters a lot to God that we love Him! To break it down a little bit; when we love someone, we care about them, we want to listen to and spend time with them, we think about how we affect that someone with our words and actions, we trust them, etc.
2) When Jesus speaks of the Law and the Prophets, He’s basically talking about all the commandments found in the Old Testament. What are they all rooted in? Loving God, your neighbor (other people) and yourself. “Get” love (relationships), and you don’t have to worry about any other commandments. They all spring out of love anyway.
3) Yes, I knew this passage commands us to love God and others. I also knew that we need to love ourselves, for our own sake, but also in order to truly love others. A fresh revelation for me this week was this: We are commanded to love ourselves!
As the song goes:
All we need is love.