34 But when the Pharisees heard that he (Jesus) had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him (Jesus) a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he (Jesus) said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40)
Jesus was recognized and honored as a “Teacher” among the educated elite class of His days.
The most prominent characteristic about Jesus being a “Teacher” was that He taught with such influence and authority, people actually listened to Him speak.
Well, not everyone agreed exactly with what Jesus said.
As for the educated elite class, what can be more important than “rule of law”?
As in the days of Jesus, and as in our days, there will be “smart people” who will try every “whim and fancy” to change the rule by bending and re-definitions.
Rules and regulations are for order and structures, surpassing people’s emotion if necessary to achieve that common agreement for peaceful community living.
So for the elite class, what should be that most important “rule of law”?
Jesus answered that question with two relational matters, which does invoke a person’s emotions and personal feelings –
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
That answer came from the very person who was there when Man was created.
Humanity was created with great potential for relationship and fellowship, and eventually our code of conducts will be influenced by our values towards relationship and fellowship.
Rule of laws which suppress emotion and feelings are essentially legalistic.
Does that give us a clue, under normal circumstances, people have much difficulties keeping up with rules and regulations? People prefer to feel good and not be tied to a stick.
Was Jesus trying to tell us, that the best and most suitable “rule of law” for us is in the context of who we love and how we relate to people? –
love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind
love your neighbor as yourself
How do we love God?
We love God by keeping faith according to the truth and light of God’s word –
23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. (John 14:23-24)
Since the Fall, Man have been separated from the presence of God.
But Man has not forgotten this personality and identity known as “God”. In our own history of humanity, we have created for ourselves endless versions of “God”.
We have extrapolated our own human ideologies about God.
The best, most accurate and reliable sources and information about God is actually found in the person of Jesus.
Jesus lived and walked among people to illustrate the reality and presence of God among us.
The oral teachings of Jesus synchronized with the mandate of God and have become our channel and our access back to God.
Jesus came to show us, God is our heavenly Father and our source of provision and protection we can depend on.
So we love God through keeping faith with the truth and light of God’s word, as taught by Jesus.
We love God through using our heart soul and mind to love His words.
We love God through using our heart soul and mind to love Jesus.
How do we love people?
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. (John 21:17)
Peter was the man who cut off someone’s ear, but he did that to protect his friend Jesus.
Jesus asked Peter to take care of people. What was Jesus trying to say to Peter?
There are hundreds and one way to love people and the best is to show them the way to Jesus. For all the good we can do to people and for people, nothing comes close to that gift of eternal life offered by Jesus.
Show them the way to Jesus and let them see the truth and light of God’s word.
Show them the way to Jesus and let them enter the kingdom of God.
Peter was asked to take care of people, mean to love your neighbor as yourself.
Peter knew the best way to do it was to follow the ways and pattern of Jesus.
Peter remembered how Jesus washed his feet and taught him the will of God.
Peter remembered how Jesus restored him to peace and fellowship with God.
Peter knew, for all the good that he could have done for people nothing comes close to that gift of eternal life offered by Jesus.