what are the two greatest commandments?
Jesus gave his disciples 2 greatest commandments when he was on earth. Although the 10 commandments are important, He summed them up easily for us in Matthew 22:36-40: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?. Continue reading to discover the 2 greatest commandments below.
The Bible is a dense book that contains many principles and commandments to which we Christians must submit. Some are no longer relevant (we are no longer under the Law), while others are still valid. But in the list of all these commandments, the Word of God seems to emphasize two of them, two key principles that all Christians should strive to follow in their daily lives.
The two greatest commandments
In the book of Matthew, there is an episode that you are no doubt familiar with. As the Pharisees prepare to test Jesus for the umpteenth time, one of the doctors of the law approaches him and asks him the following question: “ What is the greatest commandment of the law? “. To this, Jesus responds as follows:
“You shall 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 here is the second, which is similar to it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:38-39).
Surprisingly, Jesus established a hierarchy in the commandments and seems to indicate that these principles are the pillars of the gospel. These two commandments will continue to be repeated, by the apostle Paul for example, but also by James (James 2:8). How are we to understand them then?
The first and most important commandment is obviously to love the Lord. Even if it is announced in the imperative and in the form of an order, you are aware that it is impossible to force someone’s love. This love must be developed and shared in a natural way.
Although loving God is a commandment, the Lord will never force you to show your love to Him. It’s up to you to make it grow. But what is true love? It is very difficult to succeed in putting words to what love is. One thing is certain: it must be true and above all disinterested.
We are called to love God without compromise or concession, with a pure heart devoid of self-interest. We are called to love him for what he is and not for what he has to offer us. Want to know if you truly love God?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is Jesus the one you think of first when you wake up and when you go to bed?
- Do you enjoy spending time in adoration and contemplation of His person?
- Is he the one to whom you really give priority?
- How much time do you spend in intimacy with Him?
- If Jesus had nothing to offer you, would you still love Him?
- If God finally decided to abolish hell, what would be your attitude following this announcement? Would you continue to pray and sanctify yourself?
- What interests you about God? His hand or His heart?
- Finally, when was the last time you showed your love in person when you said “I love you” to God?
- What is The Bible Verse About Love
- God is love: 10 things to know about God’s love
- love your neighbor as yourself meaning
When we talk about Christianity, the first thing that comes to people’s minds is charity. There is no “religion” more explicit, or at least, that does not put so much emphasis on the need to love one’s neighbor.
Jesus died out of love for us but before that, he was the one who recommended that we bless our enemies and love those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44) or turn up our left cheek if we were struck on that right (Matthew 5:39).
The most beautiful act of love that Jesus showed was his death on the cross. He did not do it for Himself but for us, and we are called to manifest this same sacrificial love for our neighbor! Yes, it will probably make you cringe, but to love another with true love is to be ready to lay down your life for them!
There is no greater love than laying down your life for your friends.
We are called to love our neighbor without limits, to forgive without restriction, to suffer his humiliation, his criticisms, his mockery, and his insults but to bless him in return!
Difficult you say? Certainly! But it’s not impossible when we let Christ live through us.
This love is not something that man can manifest naturally because it goes against his flesh and his sinful nature. However, when we make the choice to decrease to let Christ increase (John 3:30), and we declare that He lives in us (Galatians 2:20), then everything becomes possible and we are able to manifest this same love that is described to us in 1 Corinthians 13:
Love is patient, it is full of kindness; love is not envious; love does not boast, it does not puff up, it does nothing dishonest, it does not seek its own interests, it does not get angry, it does not suspect evil, it does not rejoice not unrighteousness, but he rejoices in the truth; he forgives everything, he believes everything, he hopes for everything, he supports everything.
Whenever you wonder if you are obeying this command, take this passage and replace the word “love” with your first name.
Did you notice what was the common point between these two commandments? It is about love: true, sincere, deep, and selfless love. God is Love and he calls us to do the same, to rid ourselves of all hatred, of all bitterness, of all resentment, and not to content ourselves with sharing love, but to seek to become one! We were created out of love and saved out of love.
We were created to love, but also to be loved. Love: this is the summary of the gospel and the most important of the commandments because it is the one and the only thing that will remain eternally, in the person of Jesus Christ.
“Now therefore these three things remain: faith, hope, love; but the greatest of the three is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)