One day, one of the Sadducees approached Christ and asked him a very important, life-altering question: "What is the greatest commandment given in Scripture?"
We must understand that Sadducees are a religious sect which do not believe in the resurrection. Translating that belief to practical living; in effect, to be a Sadducee is to place your hopes and aspirations in this life only. The future doesn't really matter, only what's before you. One's chance for happiness and fulfillment can only be attained and sustained in this life. When this life is gone, one just ceases to be. This is it, your chance for a good life is all here. So labor all you can and make sure you don't fail because such a sad person you will truly be if you cannot attain and maintain happiness here.
Perhaps the person that came to ask Christ about the Great Commandment was busy running after things in this life. Maybe, his life was a cycle of seeking and losing. And to people who live like this, Christ's answer is a life-changer:
To the unbelieving person, this may be nonsense but to the Christian who realizes that true and lasting hope is found in Christ, he wouldn't think of a better answer: We are to love God. In another passage, Christ tells us to love God above all.
In this passage, He enlightens us how to love God:
1. with all of our heart
- Strong's explains the heart as the inner life, where our intentions lie.
- To love God is to put our character and will into it. This is an effortless and willing kind of love, not mechanical, not out of obligation, and never forced.
2. with all of our soul
- Strong's explains the soul as the breath of life, the seat of our affections and will.
- To love God is to engage Him, to not be distant or absent. It is to invest our emotions into someone we know and feel to be real and near. This is fresh and vibrant love.
3. with all of our mind
- Strong's explains the mind as one's understanding and intellect.
- To love God is to intellectually know and understand who He is and how He wants to be loved. It is insightful loving, I know what ticks Him off and I know what pleases Him. It is practical, it is authentic, never hypocritical.