We’ve all at least heard of the 10 Commandments and we can probably even recite a few, but what is the greatest commandment of all? That is precisely what this particular Pharisee asked Jesus in Matthew 22. The Pharisees were a Jewish sect in the first century who was known for their insistence on the validity of their own oral traditions concerning the law (10 Commandments). If anyone knew the 10 Commandments, it was this guy!
I love Jesus’ answer: “Yes, love God with everything you have, but love people too!” (Paraphrase mine)
In 1 John 4:20 we read, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”
People matter to God. After all, people are the reason He bankrupt heaven and sent His son to earth to be crucified. As an old ex-Franciscan priest named Brennan Manning once said, “God would rather die than live without you.”
It matters to God how you treat other people. We are commanded to love each other in the same way that Jesus loved us (John 13:34) and how exactly did Jesus love us? He was patient and kind, He wasn’t rude or self-seeking, He was not easily angered, and He didn’t keep a record of our wrongs (1 Corinthians 13). He simply loved us.
With each person you encounter today, love them the way God first loved you— with patience, kindness, and by not keeping record of their wrongs.
God, help me to love others as You have loved me. Give me patience and keep my motives pure. Help me to see people as You see them. Amen.