19TH AUGUST 2022
What Is the Greatest Rule of Life?
The Pharisees prided themselves in the knowledge of the law of Moses and the ritual requirements of the law. They made it a life-time practice to study the 613 precepts of the Torah - the books of the Old Testament containing the Law of Moses - along with the numerous rabbinic commentaries on the law. The religious authorities tested Jesus to see if he correctly understood the law as they did. Jesus startled them with his profound simplicity and mastery of the law of God and its purpose.
Jesus summarized the whole of the law in two great commandments found in Deuteronomy 6:5 - "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might" - and Leviticus 19:18 - "you shall love your neighbor as yourself". God's love directs all that he does - His love is holy, just, and pure because it seeks only what is good, beneficial, and life-giving - rather than what is destructive, evil, or deadly. That is why he commands us to love - to accept and to give only what is good, lovely, just, and pure and to reject whatever is contrary.
Thus, Jesus teaches us the true nature of love. Love is the gift of giving oneself for the good of others - it is wholly other oriented and directed to the welfare and benefit of others. Love which is rooted in pleasing myself is self-centered and possessive - it is a selfish love that takes from others rather than gives to others. It is a stunted and disordered love which leads to many hurtful and sinful desires - such as jealousy, greed, envy, and lust. The root of all sin is disordered love and pride which is fundamentally putting myself above God and my neighbor - it is loving and serving self rather than God and neighbor. True love, which is wholly directed and oriented to what is good rather than evil, is rooted in God's truth and righteousness (moral goodness).
Let us therefore pray to our Lord Jesus Christ whose love surpasses all, to Flood our hearts with His love. To Help us to give ourselves in generous service to others as He has so generously given Himself to us