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'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'

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'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine,
you did for me.'

The Greatest Commandment

In Matthew 22:34-40 Jesus is asked by a scholar of Jewish law, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”  Jesus answered the man by saying; “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.”

How do I go about loving God with all of my heart, soul and mind?   How can I show Him that I love Him? 

“By living your life for God,” I was once told when I was fourteen.  Wow.  That’s a radical thing for a young person to get his mind around.  What does that even mean: to live your life for God?

God has a plan for each of us.  He has given us talents and gifts in order to successfully live the life that he created us to live.  It is our responsibility to find the purpose of our life, and to live it.

God help us

When we are in trouble, we call to God in prayer for help.  Is it by God’s own hand that we get His help, then?   Or is it the surgeon whose skills heal us, or the driver that stops at the sight of our disabled car? 

Are you and I God’s instrument of Love and help?

Does it show God how much we love Him when we answer a call for help, when we fill a silent need; is this service to each other loving God with all our hearts, minds and souls?  Is this the way we dedicate our lives to God, but dedication our lives to living a useful, helpful, compassionate proactive life, loving our neighbors so much that we serve them?

I think I’ll start on this road to understanding this by assuming that I can connect love of God and love of neighbor.  I know how I to show people I love them.  I do things for them, I look out for their interests and their wellbeing.  I can help them when they are in need of help.  But how can I help God?  How can I look out for his interests?  I certainly cannot do anything to affect His wellbeing.  I can, however, serve God by satisfying the needs of my neighbors.

In Luke 12:13-34 Jesus warns us against greed of all kinds: materialism, gluttony, vanity.  He also tells us to give to the needy and to serve others, and He ends this lesson with this: “for where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”  My treasure is God; His love for me is what I treasure.  I also treasure the love of others.

When Jesus talks about salvation He says that He is the way to everlasting life.  He also says that He is Love.  In the Greatest Commandment lesson He tells us that Loving God and our neighbors is, essentially, the most important thing. 

To love God we must love, serve and help His children.  Through our personal acts of ministry we love God and our neighbor, and satisfy the two greatest commandments.

 

Matthew 25:34-41

Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'

Then the righteous 16 will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?

When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?

When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'

And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.'

Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?'

He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.' 

And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

 Luke 12:15-34

Then he said to the crowd, "Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions."

Then he told them a parable. "There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, 'What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?' 

And he said, 'This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, "Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!"

But God said to him, 'You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?'

Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God."

He said to (his) disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Notice the ravens: they do not sow or reap; they have neither storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them. How much more important are you than birds! Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your lifespan? If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest?

Notice how the flowers grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass in the field that grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?

As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore.  All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides.

Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. 

For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

 ###

Bible references

Matthew 25:34-41

Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'

Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'

And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.'

Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?'

He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.' 

And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

###

1: Matthew 22:34-40

34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them [a scholar of the law] 20 tested him by asking, 36 "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" 37 He said to him, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and the first commandment. 39 The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."

###

 
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