The First and Greatest Commandment

Here in this post, I’m not just trying to entertain you with a good new idea or give an exegisis to show how smart I am, I actually am hoping to invite you to try some things that will challenge you, but cause your heart to come alive in deep and fresh ways.

Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38).

From the way the ten commandments are talked about in secular culture, we tend to view a commandment as something we must do or will will be punished. So as this verse is taught in the church, we don’t see it as we should, ‘an invitation to be radical to loving God with everything.’

Also many just hear it and think, yeah got that one down, I love God, and move on.

But if we’re going to go after anything in God, this should be first.

Of all the things Jesus could have say ‘this is the greatest commandment’ He says ‘pursue loving me with all that you have until you do it.’ He doesn’t say ‘serve the Lord with all your heart,’ or ‘reach all the lost, or be as righteous as you can’ as the first, as the greatest priority of our heart, He says ‘get in love with me, get so lovesick and longing for me, so burning for and desiring of me…so that all that you do is for me and is for the purpose of getting closer to me.’ (see Mark 2:18-22). Because apart from that all we do is religion. That’s what the Pharisees did. They did their ministry, holiness, righteousness and it was all devoid of being in burning passionate love for Jesus. Mostly it was to build their own name.

But the greatest or ‘weightiest’ or ‘most serious’ commandment should be the greatest pursuit of our lives. It’s the most important commandment because He doesn’t want our lives poured out before Him without it. To the degree that we pursue this is the degree that He esteems that which we do for Him.

So yeah practically, I’m suggesting that we seek Holy Spirit for wisdom on how to get this going in our day-to-day mundane or exciting lives. That we would get understanding of how we’re called to walk this out and get it burning in our hearts.

He can reveal His beauty and His person to our hearts and by the Holy Spirit take us into deeper love for Him. God is able to impart His fiery love into our weak human frame. If He can cause us to love Him like this in heaven, He can do it now, even in our weak and broken state from which we now approach Him.

Jesus called this the greatest because of the way it touches God’s heart. Even the small places of love in your heart greatly impact Jesus. It is also great in terms of its impact on your own heart. It changes your emotions. It refines who you are and your other priorities.


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