When responding to a question about what Jesus believed to be the greatest commandment, Jesus couldn’t have been any clearer that this is also our greatest purpose in life.
Breaking down the words of Matthew 22:36-40 makes it clear that these commandments should consume our hearts as well as our time. All we do should be measured against the fulfillment of these commandments. Consequently, what greater purpose can we have in life but to love the Lord and love others?
Our greatest purpose in life is not a human sentiment but comes with divine authority.
“Love (agape) the Lord your God . . . Love (agape) your neighbor . . .” (agape – divine love … the highest form of love)
Our greatest purpose in life, love for God and love for people, is not natural but rather something supernatural.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
Our greatest purpose in life is not a sporadic or half-hearted endeavor but rather should be all-consuming, putting all of who we are completely into loving Him.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Our greatest purpose in life is not unidirectional but rather multi-faceted in first and foremost loving God but also then ourselves and others.
“This is the first … commandment. And the second is like it …”
Our greatest purpose in life is not a low priority but rather the top, chief priority in terms of time, place and rank.
“This is the … greatest commandment …”
Our greatest purpose in life is not insignificant but rather to a measure or degree beyond any other command … the “mega” commandment.
Our greatest purpose in life is not an option but rather a matter of obedience.
“All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Our greatest purpose in life is not a sub-point of other teaching but is at the top as the main point with everything else coming under it.
All of these truths take the command to love God and love people to a higher level than anything else in life. Nothing can be more important. Nothing should ever take its place. Nothing can be a greater purpose in life than to love the Lord and love others.
Also note that the greatest commandments are not new commandments given by Jesus but rather ones He quoted from the Old Testament (i.e., Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18).
Our greatest purpose in life is not new for the Church but rather always God’s desire for His people.
What we do find new in what Jesus said, was adding the second commandment next to the first. Certainly that must be significant for the Church … a topic for the next post. (You can subscribe to receive e-mail notice of new posts to this blog.