Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Greatest Commandment

I taught school for many years. I think that every classroom I ever entered had a list of rules hanging on the wall. Even though there might have been some slight differences, most of them said pretty much the same thing. You can probably guess most of the rules. They usually said things like:
  • Listen Carefully
  • Follow Directions
  • Obey the Teacher
  • Work Quietly
  • Keep Your Hands to Yourself
  • Be Kind to Others
If you were to ask me which classroom rule is most important, I know what I would say. I would say that the most important rule is to respect and obey your teacher and the second is very much like it -- be kind and show respect for your fellow students. If the students would just follow those two rules, there really wouldn't be a need for any more.

The religious leaders of Jesus' day liked to sit around and discuss the law. They especially liked to ask Jesus questions about the law hoping to trick him into saying something that would cause people to turn against him. One day they were questioning Jesus and he answered them with one good answer right after another. One of the teachers of the law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

Jesus answered, "The most important commandment is this: 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.' The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment is greater than these."

After hearing Jesus' answer, no one else dared to ask him any more questions!

What a great answer. If we could just keep those two commandments, we wouldn't have any trouble keeping the rest of them, would we?