Mathew 22 Lesson

The Greatest Commandments

If you were face to face with Jesus and could ask Him any question, what would it be?

In Mathew’s Gospel, he records a question posed by one of the Pharisees to Jesus along with Jesus’ response. The Pharisee asked Jesus:

  • “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” - Mathew 22:36.

We are blessed to have Jesus’ answer recorded for us so that we can apply it to our everyday lives. Out of all the commandments written in the Bible, there are the two that Jesus said were the most important:

  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.

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 are not what we want to do. We need to do them anyway. That is how we show our love for God.

Truefaith 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, 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 to discipline us (Proverbs 3:12), and 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.

It should not surprise us that the two greatest commandments in the Bible are all about love. After all, God IS love! (1 John 4:16)

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 neighbor, 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

James A Guillory

The Holy Spirit will always lead us into truth.He will never lead us in the wrong direction,and He will always lead us back to the Word of God to confirm truth! 2nd Timothy 3:16 all scripture is given by inspiration of God, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

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Jellian
James A Guillory

Amen🙏😊😇

Reply
Michael
James A Guillory

Your comment really helped me to understand the answer to today’s question James. Thank you Brother!

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