The greatest commandment, as taught by Jesus Christ, is found in Matthew 22:37-40
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
In this passage, Jesus summarizes the entire essence of God’s commandments into two fundamental principles: loving God with all our being and loving our neighbors as ourselves.
- Love for God: Jesus emphasizes that we are to love God wholeheartedly, with all our heart, soul, and mind. This encompasses our affections, thoughts, and devotion to God. It involves surrendering our lives to God, seeking His will, and developing a deep and intimate relationship with Him.
- Love for others: Jesus links the command to love God with the command to love our neighbors as ourselves. Our love for God should naturally overflow into love for others. This love includes showing kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and selflessness to those around us. It extends not only to our friends and family but also to strangers, enemies, and those in need.
Jesus declares that these two commandments encompass all of God’s Law and the teachings of the prophets. They summarize the principles by which we should live and relate to God and others. Loving God and loving our neighbors are inseparable and foundational to a life of faith and obedience.
By following the greatest commandment, we prioritize our relationship with God and seek to His love and character in our interactions with others. It serves as a guidance principle for our attitudes, actions, and decisions, shaping our conduct and transforming our lives to be more aligned with God’s purpose.