Bible Verse

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He 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 greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” — Matthew 22:36-40

Christian Lesson Overview

When Matthew asked Jesus about all 613 Commandments in the Old Testament, Jesus said the greatest was the First Commandments of the Ten Commandments and his commandment “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  When I read this scripture, it does not mean not to follow all the commandments.  I believe Jesus knew that we are not perfect.  He knew that we would not follow all the commandments our entire life because he knew we are not perfect, and the original sin challenged us. 

I believe Jesus is saying to us, love your God in every way.  Understand that God is the source of everything we have.  Respect as if you were with him like Adam and Eve.  Then give all other people that respect as well.  Do this, regardless of how they treat you.  That does not mean you always give in to every wish of every person.  It means you treat everyone with respect.

Christian Lesson for Today

Jim Brandt

I did some research on the meaning of the word love in Greek during the time of Jesus.  I did find many results, but the most prominent research was that there were four words in Greek that meant love in English.   The words meant: affection, friendship, eros (romantic love), and Agape (Charity – the love of a man from God and the love of God from man).

Therefore, I concluded that the fourth Greek definition of love is the definition we should use when worshiping the first commandment and the commandment from Jesus.   

I can be a witness to the power of knowing the meaning of love.  Today, my health care provider scheduled me to have a medical procedure.   I had the same procedure two weeks earlier but the health care provider called me and told me  I needed to repeat the procedure to gain comparative information.  The health care provider scheduled the second procedure for today.    I did my best to arrange my work schedule so I could be available for the procedure.  I waited at the facility for over two hours beyond my appointed time. Then I changed clothes and waited for the medical technician to perform the procedure.  After all that time, another medical technician came into the room and said there had been a mistake and I did not require a procedure.  She said I could go home.  Five years ago, I would have been very angry and let everyone know about it.  Today I realized that the person who caused the mistake was not there and it did not help my situation to express anger.  All those people who worked in the health care facility were trying to help me.

After studying Christian Lessons aggressively for the past five years, I believe I would not have been angry at the person who caused the mistake.  If I had a suggestion to avoid the situation for other people in the future, I would respectfully communicate that suggestion.

Christian Lesson Summary

During the past several years, my stress level and overall health have benefited from following these two rules.  Love, meaning the love described in the First Commandment (Agape or Charity), is truly the center of everything else.  We must love God and our fellow people. 

Published by Jim Brandt

Jim Brandt was an all-conference college football player and served as a Marine Corps pilot during the Vietnam War. He also started a software company and served as an executive for the fifth-largest bank in the United States. Brandt won the Democratic party nomination for Congress twice. He is married and has three children.