Memorise Matthew 22:37
“for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law”
Simple answer: love. The commandments are all about love. Because God loved us, He gave us the commandments. In response, our motivation behind keeping the commandments must be because of love – love for God, and love for our fellow man. Jesus himself explained, that love is the greatest law and obligation we as men must have, for in loving, we fulfill the law.
The Pharisees were proud men, who thought they had a thorough and complete knowledge of the Old Testament. They sought to bait Jesus with their questions, trying to trick him into making a mistake. However, each time they asked a question, Jesus turned the situation around, and used it as an opportunity to teach an important biblical principle. In Matthew 22:36, a learned Pharisee asked him which was the greatest commandment in the law. They were expecting an intellectual debate to follow, as to them, many of the laws were important, of things such as Sabbath keeping, purifying and washing, sacrifices and offerings, etc. Jesus surprised them, by saying that it was simply, love.
There are two main objects of love that we must have. First, it is towards God, whom we must love with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. This basically means that we love God with every faculty we have, with every ability to feel, desire, think, do, we direct them towards a love for God. This is the first and great commandment, and encompasses the first four commandments. Second, with reference to the next 6 commandments, we love our neighbours (which refers to everyone around us, including those whom we perceive to be our enemies), as much as we would love ourselves. This means we do not just refrain from hurting or harming them, but that we go out of our way to care for them, to reach out to them, witness to them and to help them in whatever way possible. If we can attain such love, then we have kept the commandments, for Jesus explained that ‘on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets’.
Ultimately, as Christians, in order to obey God’s law, we must love as God loves. This is the teaching that is echoed throughout the Bible, that we must love God, and love one another. Dear Teen, is your life characterized by love?
Thought: The Ten Commandments are all about love! Love for God, and love for Man.
Prayer: May the love of God constrain all that I think, do and say.