The Greatest Commandment - Part II

By Donnie Swaggart with Justin Nicholson

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
—Matthew 22:36-40

This article is continued from the September 2020 issue of The Evangelist.

“Jesus Said Unto Him”
Whatever Jesus has to say is truth, and the only truth. It’s not what men say. It’s what the Lord and His Word say that is truth. If men would heed themselves to Christ and His Word, the whole world would change.

“You Shall Love The Lord Your God”
This phrase places this as the foundation of all the law and, as well, this dispensation of grace. Also, in this phrase, Jesus uses the title “Lord,” which refers to covenant, as it prefaces (introduces) God as the Creator. Unless one really knows God, which the title Lord implies, one cannot really love Jesus Christ. As Lord implies covenant, it also implies relationship, and to, thereby, love Him is to place Him first in all things.

“With All Your Heart, And With All Your Soul, And With All Your Mind”
This phrase gives us the manner in which God is to be loved.
The “heart” pertains to all inward affections, while the “soul” pertains to all consciousness, with the “mind” pertaining to all thoughts.
All of this points to total allegiance to Jesus Christ and His Word. If God is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all. When Jesus spoke these words, He was actually quoting Deuteronomy 6:5: “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Therefore, if the Lord used the Word of God for His answer, our answers must be based on the Word of God.

“This Is The First And Great Commandment”
The love of God must be first. Why? It is because the love of God must be first before anything else can be claimed. In Ecclesiastes 12:13, Solomon said: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

“And The Second Is Like Unto It, You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself”
When Jesus said, “And the second is like unto it,” He was taking the conversation further than the scribe had asked. Jesus did this because it is very easy for someone to say he loves the Lord, but the proof is found in the words, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” That’s the proof of whether the first and greatest commandment is kept. If the love of God does not show itself in how we treat our neighbors, then the claim of our love for God is false.
If a person truly loves the Lord, will he slander his neighbor? Will he gossip about his neighbor? Will he be jealous of his neighbor?
As well, if one sees his neighbor in need, John the Beloved said, “But whoso hath this world’s goods (refers to the necessities of life), and seeth his brother have need (it is seeing a Christian in need of the necessities of life over a long period), and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him (presents the individual who has the means to truly help, but refuses to do so), how dwelleth the love of God in him? (His actions proclaim the fact that despite his profession, there is actually no love of God in him)” (I John 3:17).

“Who Is My Neighbor?”
In Luke10:25-37, our Lord gives the parable of the good Samaritan. In this parable, the Lord takes our responsibility further than one might think by referring to those we don’t know but with whom we come into contact. We must show the love of Christ to all with whom we come into contact.

The Law And The Prophets
The phrase, “On these two commandments,” proclaims this argument as to the greatest commandment being settled once and for all. By adding the second to it, it proves the fact of the first commandment.
The phrase, “Hang all the law and the prophets,” includes the time we are living in now—the covenant of grace. The Lord’s answer regarding the greatest commandment proclaims Christianity as the most astounding concept the world has ever known.
If the people of a nation would love God with all their hearts, souls, and minds, and their neighbor as themselves, there would be no horrible tragedies like George Floyd. There would be no inhumanity toward our fellowman.
Every one of us must constantly make sure our love is properly placed in Jesus Christ.

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