Jesus replied: “‘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 the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”’
Matthew 22:37-39 NIV
Love Your Neighbour
It’s a new day in the neighbourhood all across the Western world. More than 30 per cent of Canadians now say they feel disconnected from their neighbours, while half of Americans admit they don’t know the names of theirs. An Australian sociologist investigating community responses in the wake of the 2011 floods in Queensland found relations in “a precarious balance”; neighbours were hesitant to intrude even in emergencies—leading the scholar to conclude that “we are less likely than ever to know” our neighbours.
The Jewish religious code in Jesus’ day was almost impossible for the common man or woman to understand. It had become so complicated and convoluted that religious scholars spent their entire lives trying to understand it, and the everyday Jew never knew if they had broken the law. Then Jesus came along, and in one statement simplified it so that everyone could grasp it. In Matthew 22:37-39 we read, “Jesus replied: ‘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 the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” There isn’t a single person who can’t easily understand what God expects of His people. We are called to love God with every part of our being and to love others as God loves us. Now, that may be easy to understand, but it isn’t nearly as easy to live out day by day. We require the work of the Holy Spirit who dwells in each follower of Jesus to put the law into action. Only as we daily die to self can the Holy Spirit empower us to live out these commands.
These have been words from the heart.