Passage: Matthew 22:34-46
Marked: v. 36-40
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Here, Jesus reveals that all Scriptures hang on 2 commandments which are both about love. Love is foundational. It is at the very core of Christianity. In all we do, think, and say; Love cannot be absent. Else, such won't be true to our faith. There must be an absolute love for God; for without that, worship is false and any ministry (or kingdom work) is meaningless. Love for others must be present. Else, service (or good deeds) is pointless and even hypocritical.
God requires the presence of love for God operates on love; He exists as love. He is not just loving, He-IS-love. He is the very essence of love. All God is and does springs from love and purposes from love. It is only sensible that we response in love towards One who is love.
Further, if we love God as He desires for us to love, we will love others whom He genuinely loves. God requires us to love others just as we love ourselves. God expects us to extend to others nothing more (and nothing less) than the measure of love we bestow upon ourselves. We should not withhold from others what we do not withhold from ourselves (on the basis of the RIGHT kind of self-love). This therefore means that we should be forgiving towards others as we are of ourselves. We shouldn't over-expect nor be unreasonable. We should be understanding and patient. We should extend second and third chances. We should desire the good of others.
At times, we don't like ourself; on the contrary, there may be days when we are frustrated with ourselves and hate ourselves. Yet because of self-love, we recover from those low periods. We rebuild and rise again, and begin to like ourselves and have confidence in ourselves once more. That's how we should be with others. We don't need to like people all the time but we should love them enough to extend respect and courtesy towards them. Loving others is not about "kissing ass" it's about exercising a balanced regard of others which we desire others to exercise like so towards us.
In living the Christian life, In doing Christian deeds, God values how loving we are in all that. 1 Corinthians 13 details God's sentiment fairly well. IF I have no love, I am nothing and whatever I do is nothing. Love must be our motivation, our purpose, and our response. For it is what matters to God who is love.