“Teacher. Which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses? Jesus replied, “‘You must the Lord your God with all you heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’”
Jesus, in discussion with the Sadducees and Pharisees, was asked a faith defining question by an expert in religious law. He was trying to trick Jesus into saying something controversial or ‘heretical’ yet Jesus’ answer not only silenced His critics, but set a moral foundation for what our faith and ‘religion’ should look like forever. Jesus’ answer highlighted two basic human guidelines: Our need to love God and our need to love each other.
Loving God, encompasses and includes every part of our lives. ‘Our hearts, our souls and our minds’ is a holistic imagery or loving God with every part of you. Whatever you think about, whatever is going on in your hearts, with every ounce of our lives, we are commanded to love God. Jesus didn’t say these words because He was being egotistic. He said these words, because out of our loving bond with Jesus and our relationship with God, is birthed love for others. The root of love is God. It started with Him and continues in Him. Without our relationship with God we cannot love others. Our relationship with God is the perfect example of acceptance, grace and mercy.
Loving God is not only us putting Him first in our lives or even including Him in all we do, think and say. It is also receiving and accepting His love too. In fact, we cannot love God, if we first don’t accept His love. After all, the root of love, starts from God. When we learn to accept God’s love, we can love Him with everything in us, and in turn love others too. Our image of ourselves increases as we discover how much God truly loves us too.