Forgiveness 4

The second greatest commandment

The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself.

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.”  Matthew 22:37-30

He answered, “‘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, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  Luke 10:27

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:29-31

We all know these verses, most of us know them by heart, but why are they so important? The answer to this question really isn’t so difficult if we remember that God first loved all of us and sent His Son to die for all of us and not just for you or me. That God would want us to share His love with our neighbor makes all kinds of sense, just as a parent would want their child to share the parent’s love for his or her siblings. In the New Testament, this love for our neighbor is carried forward as our love for one another within the church in a special way.

God loved us – We love God – God loves others – So do we

This is the cycle that makes God’s love complete in us. My brother or sister may not always be lovable, but because God loves them and I love God, I decide to love them too, in spite of their faults, for are their faults really that much greater than my own? John makes this entire cycle clear in an amazing passage, 1 John 4:7-21 and I hope you will read carefully omce again. Some of the other verses relating to this are listed below:

John 13:34-35; 14:21; 15:17; 17:23 Ephesians 1:15; 4:2 1 Peter 1:22; 2:17; 3:8; 4:8
Romans 5:5; 8:28, 35; 12:10; 13:8-10 Colossians 1:4; 2:2; 3:14 1 John 2:10; 3:11, 14; 4:7-21
1 Corinthians 8:3 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 4:9-10  
Galatians 5:13-14 2 Thessalonians 1:3  

This is a theme that carries throughout the entire New Testament, and it is also the very core of all Christian Theology. If you want to really take a wide view of the subject, it is also the primary purpose of the Church and can be summed up in the words of Jesus: “Make disciples.”

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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4 Responses to Forgiveness 4

  1. photojaq says:

    I think you could add Ephesians 5:1-2 as well. Great scripture study. Thanks.

  2. Pingback: Just a Thought – Truth in Palmyra

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