What yardstick should we use to measure how well we’ve met The Greatest Commandment? In All the Alls in The Greatest Commandment, we concluded that The Greatest Commandment demands that we love God more than we love anyone or anything. In The Neighbour in The Greatest Commandment, we concluded that The Greatest Commandment demands that we love all of the worst of God’s children.
Jesus summarized The Greatest Commandment in less than four dozen words. As such, it is easy to remember but difficult to discern all He demands of us. Fortunately, Jesus explained The Greatest Commandment in numerous teachings. And, if you have concluded on your own, or after pursuing the thinking in How Can a Man be God, that Jesus was God Incarnate, you know His teachings are God’s teachings. Do you think we’d better listen up?
In Matt 5: 21-24, Jesus clarifies that loving our neighbour must include reconciliation for our failings, even those as simple as anger and insults. In Matt 5: 27-30, He teaches we must rid ourself of lust, replacing it with selfless love. In Matt 5: 38-32, He insists we must not retaliate no matter what the aggravation. In Matt 6: 14-15, He commands that we forgive others without reservation. In Matt 7: 1-5, Jesus tells us to refrain from judging others’ failures and, instead, to focus on correcting our failures. In Matt 5: 43-48, He teaches that we must love enemies and persecutors no matter how great the persecution or who it affects. Most demanding, He insists our love of our neighbour must be perfect – selfless and
unconditional – as is that of God, our Father.
Most of us think we are pretty good people and that the promise of an eternal life of love with our creator awaits us at the moment of our death. Most of us are good people by our yardstick. But how would you and I stack up against the yardstick that Jesus is itemizing?
Jesus leaves no stone unturned to teach us the yardstick He will use at the end of our earthly lives.
What about you? Can you maintain the complacency you need to remain satisfied with your yardstick?