Luke 10 Lesson

Nothing Is More Important To God Than Love

LOVE

Is there anything more important to God thanlove? Based on the teachings of the Bible, the answer is no. Nothing is more important to God than love.

Consider the following exchange between Jesus and a lawyer as recorded in the Gospel of Luke:

  • And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” – Luke 10:25-28.

Jesus responded to the lawyer’s questions about how to inherit eternal life with love:

  1. Love for God,
  2. And love for each other.

There is a similar exchange in the Book of Mathew where Jesus is asked what is the greatest commandment in the Law. Jesus responded:

  • “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” – Mathew 22:37-40.

In these two scriptures, Jesus tells us that love is necessary for salvation, and that love is the most important thing to God. This should not come as a surprise. After all, God IS love. (1 John 4:16).

LOVING GOD WITH ALL OUR HEART, SOUL, AND MIND

As Christians, we need to understand what it means to love God. According to the scriptures, loving God is all about keeping His commandments. That is what Jesus taught us in the following scripture:

  • “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” – John 14:15.

Pretty straightforward, right? We show our love for God and for Jesus by keeping their commandments.

Of course, to keep Jesus’ commandments, we need to understand what those commandments are, and the only way to do that is to read the Bible. There is a common misconception among some people that says that if we do what we think is right then we will always be pleasing God.

That is erroneously putting our thoughts ahead of God’s thoughts, and we can get into big trouble when we do that. Consider the following scripture from the Book of Proverbs:

  • “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” - Proverbs 14:12.

Once we read this scripture, we can no longer accept that following our gut is how we please God. There are things that God commands us to do that sometimes will not make sense to us or we do not want to do. We need to do them anyway. That is how we show our love for God.

True faith is believing and trusting in God in all things. Not just when it is convenient for us to do so.

LOVING OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELVES

As we think about the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves, we need to first ask ourselves, “Who is my neighbor?”

Quite simply, our neighbor is anybody that we meet.   God brings people into our lives for a reason.  Sometimes it is for reasons that we may not ever understand (Isaiah 55:8-9).   Once they are in our lives, however, our job is to love them.    

One of the things that we need to understand is that Jesus did not simply say, “You shall love your neighbor.” Instead, Jesus said, “You shall love your neighbor as  yourself.” Adding the word “yourself” to the end of that command is significant. God wants us to love ourselves. He wants us to love ourselves even if we have done things in our past that we are not proud of. The Apostle Paul certainly understood this. Earlier in his life, Paul persecuted and arrested the very Christians that he spent the rest of his life serving so selflessly. Paul said in his first letter to Timothy:

  • “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.” - 1 Timothy 15-16.

CONCLUSION

The two greatest commandments in the Bible are:

  1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” - Mathew 22:37,
  2. “Love your neighbor as yourself” - Mathew 22:38.

The way that we show our love for God, is by keeping His commandments. To do this, we need to study the Bible regularly, so that we understand what God commands us to do. We cannot simply trust our own feelings about what is right. We are not God! To please Him, we need to learn what He wants us to do, and then do it.

To love our neighbors, we need to take the time to get to know them, and then help them find Jesus and salvation.

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture that speaks to the amazing love that our Father and His Son have for us:

  • “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” - John 3:16-17.  

Comments

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Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think and feel?
2) How can you apply what you have just learned to something specific that is happening in your life?

***PLEASE POST YOUR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS HERE***

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Pat Dermody

John, thanks you for the excellent commentary on loving ourselves and our neighbor. Unless we love ourselves how can we have a healthy relationship with our neighbor? And it is true that loving our neighbor requires effort. A friend may ask for our help at the most in opportune time. However, as God finds time for us so we must find time for our neighbor.. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

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Adam Gideon Pedzisayi

Thanks for a powerful exposition and an in depth analysis of the word of God in Luke 10, were our Lord sends the 70 on a mission which also typifies our role in the great commission. After preparing them teaching them and sound doctrinated them into his own carbon copies, he sends them a away ahead of him to the cities that he himself was going to come. I have arrived to an interesting revelation after reading this portion of the scripture which can be better explained by the use of the analogy of personal documents. We all have our IDs and whenever we apply for a job, we make photocopies which we will send as part of any application for an interview. So they are many photocopies but one original and a copies can't be authentic without the original, because it's made from the original and in this case it's Jesus Christ.
Because they were ambassadors of christ and acted in the interest of the kingdom, the devil's domain was shakened in those places they went, and The Lord saw it, and he said "I saw the devil falling like a lightning", their preaching was so powerful that it weakened and destroyed the throne of the devil that it couldn't hold henceforth he fall and demons came into submission to the power of God, as they're being chased by the disciples. The disciples themselves were amazed by the fact that the evil spirits were submitting to their authorities and command, but Jesus was quick to illuminate and shed some light to their attention to focus on the the most important thing which is in line with the will of God that is the kingdom. In Matt 7:21-22, Jesus warned his desciples about risking to loss their places in the kingdom of God, as he said, "21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

We are called to be more focused on the making the kingdom know through Christ, we thrive on borrowed authority and this can only be put into effect for as long as we remain connected to Jesus. When evil spirits submits they are not submitting to us but the authority in the name Jesus, as philippians 2:8-10 states, "21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Reply
Dan
Adam Gideon Pedzisayi

Adam, there is certainly only one God the Father, and one Son, Jesus the Christ.

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