Scripture Reading: Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-44
But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” (Matthew 22:34-36)
Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:29-31) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:40)
And the scribe said unto him, “Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, “Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. ” And no man after that durst ask him any question. (Mark 12:32-34)
This was one of the greatest statements I made while I was on Earth. It was providential that the Torah teacher should ask Me this vital question. Let me talk to you about it.
Before I answered his question about what was the greatest of all commandments, I said “Sh’ma Israel, Adonai Eloheynu, Adonai echad [Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is One],” I was calling all of Israel to attention, using the Words which the Father had given Moses to teach the Children of Israel (Deuteronomy 6:4). I had been taught these words when I was but a child at My mother’s knee. I had heard it every Sabbath in the Synagogue. They were as familiar to Me as the Word “Shalom” which we used to greet each other.
When I cried out, “Hear, O Israel!” I was literally crying out to My people, Israel, to hear the heart’s cry of the Father, begging His people to love Him with all their hearts, their souls, their minds, and their strength, even as the Father had in the days of Moses when He said those same words.
My people were taught to do many kind deeds and good works, but I told them, there is no other “mitzvah” (commandment, good deed, principle) that was greater than these. I told them that it was on these two principles — loving God and one’s fellowman — that the whole Torah was based.
There is no use doing a lot of good works if you have no love in your heart. Love is like pure gold — all the works which you do, when they are inspired by a heart of love, are the works of love. There is a great blessing upon them and a great reward.
Paul had this same revelation when he said to the Romans, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law … Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans13:8, 10).
It is sad, but true that, when My children begin to grow cold in their love for Me, they substitute all kinds of rules and laws to take the place of the love which they once had for Me. It is as if they are trying to deceive themselves and Me into believing that they still love Me because they are doing so many works.
But the things you do for Me can never replace the love you give to Me. When your heart is filled with devotions of tenderness and holy sentiment towards Me, I know it and I can feel it.
And the wonderful thing is this, that when your heart is ablaze with love for Me it also is filled with love toward others. In fact, it is impossible to love others with pure love if you do not love your God, for “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto you” (Romans 5:5). The more you are filled with the love of the Lord, the more you will love your neighbour.
From the Heart of Jesus by Gwen Shaw
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