The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39 NABRE
Jesus is asked by a religious leader what is the greatest commandment. Jesus says to love God is the greatest commandment and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself. It is significant Jesus links the command to love God and to love neighbor. Of course the question becomes who is our neighbor and after Jesus shares a parable we discover anyone we encounter, or meet in our daily activity is our neighbor. This link Jesus creates between these two commands is not casual, in fact it is at the heart of everything Jesus has come to teach. Loving your neighbor is like loving God because God dwells within our neighbor, God is creator of our neighbor and God is Father of our neighbor. Any parent will tell you that their children mean more to them than they even mean themselves, in other words good parents always put their children first. God has this view toward us. If we want to show our love for God we must love His creation, His children, His indwelling. If we want to declare we are disciples of Jesus and followers of God, these commandments are the least we should know and live. Love is a critical axiom of being a Christian.
John will write in a letter how important this love has become in the new covenant. “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1 John 4:20-21) The link between loving God and neighbor cannot be broken, we cannot do one and not the other.
Who is your neighbor? Who do you find difficult to love?The link between loving God and neighbor cannot be broken, we cannot do one and not the other. Click To Tweet
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