all encompassing and all consuming

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” [Matthew 22:36-40 NLT]

Court is in session and the Son of God is on trial.
Lawyers from one religious sect have unsuccessfully cross examined Jesus.
Now another barrister comes forth hoping to trip Jesus up.

I wonder what answer this lawyer expected to hear?

I imagine that the first part of Jesus' answer did not surprise him.
Maybe he thought Jesus would stop at loving God?
Yet Jesus did not stop there but made it clear that loving God is not enough.

To follow the teaching of the ten commandments one must love people as well.

Interesting how Jesus describes love in this passage.
Quoting from Deuteronomy he speaks of a love that's all encompassing and all consuming.
The nature of this love is sacrificial and selfless.

It is not enough to love with just a part of us.
It is not enough to love God or people when things are going well.
He requires all of our love all of the time.

And he requires that we love all of his human creation - beginning with ourselves.

We are made in his image and we must love those whom he loves.
It is what we were created to do.
All of the bible is based on this kind of love.

Thank you Father that I was created to love! Help me to express love today.

... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.

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