Pause for a moment and consider: What matters most in your life? The answer lies in where you invest your time, money, and energy. Whether it’s spending time playing video games or watching movies, constant scrolling on social media, collecting the latest fashion trends, or dedicating energy to relationships or financial success, everyone has a focal point that consumes their resources.
Now, consider: What truly matters most to you? The reality may be uncomfortable – the areas where you allocate your time, money and energy may not have long-term significance.
The question arises: How do we identify and focus on what truly matters most? Throughout the Bible, one figure consistently provides guidance – Jesus. Let’s quickly read Matthew 22:36-40,
“34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.””
According to Jesus, the most important thing – the thing that truly matters the most – is loving God with all that you are and loving others around you. Let’s break down this verse and really dive deep into what it’s trying to say to us.
1. LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL AND MIND
Jesus says this is the greatest commandment. You should love God with everything that you are. Now what is love? Biblically, love isn’t just a feeling, it’s a sacrifice that we make for the good of another. When Jesus tells us that we should ‘love God’, he isn’t saying we should direct all just our affection to him, but instead he is instructing us to devote our whole life to him.
Deuteronomy 6:5 “LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, ALL WITH YOUR SOUL AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH”. The Bible is instructing us to love God with “all our strength” – this means that we have to make sacrifices on the things that we do, the things that we say, the things that we think and the things that we believe – Jesus is telling us to devote these things to worshipping God. God doesn’t want just one part of you, He wants all of you.
2. LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF
Just like before, love is so much more than just how we think or feel about someone. It’s how we live. Thinking good things about a person is nice and good, but what Jesus is trying to say to us is much more than that. He’s saying that we should do good things for other people – things that you would want done for you.
If you were hungry, and someone else had enough food to share, would you want them to? If you felt lonely and someone had a great group of friends for you to be apart of, would you want them to ask you to join them? Jesus wants us to do whatever good things we want done to us, to others. But Jesus isn’t just saying love those who love you – love those who are good to you, Jesus is also saying that we should love those who hate us as well.
Matthew 5:43-47 says:
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
Jesus is saying that loving your neighbour as a Christian, as a follower of Christ, is more than just love, it takes effort, it can be painful, but it’s love that is intentional.
3. ALL THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS HANG ON THESE TWO COMMANDMENTS
The law and the prophets were another way of describing the old testament, the first two-thirds of the Bible. Don’t miss this, Jesus is saying that the majority of the Bible, the first two-thirds, the first 1184 pages of the Bible that make up the Jewish scripture is summed up in two commandments: Love God with everything you have and love your neighbour as yourself.
It’s that simple to live a life that is full of Christ – to live a life that matters most. Every command in the law and the every word from the prophets from the old testament is pointing and leading to these two truths.