The Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:35–38) - Radical

The Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:35–38)

“And one of them, a lawyer, asked Jesus a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.'” 

– Matthew 22:35–38.

The primary command God intends to govern our lives is to walk in a love relationship with Him, not out of duty but delight.

Matthew 22:35–38 States the Greatest Commandment is Loving God

This text could not be any clearer, and it could not be anymore beautiful, more wonderful. This is the primary commandment that God intends to govern our lives. What is that command? It’s to walk in a love relationship with him. How awesome is that? We’re talking about the holy God of the universe, whom we have sinned against. We deserve his wrath, we deserve his judgment. But this God loves us so much that he has sent his son to die on a cross for us. He has paid the price due our sin himself.

He has endured the judgment we deserve himself. He’s made a way for us to know him, and not just to know him, but to love him. Not just to have a relationship with him marked by duty, where we do this, and do that. This is a relationship marked by delight. The supreme command is love me with everything you have, which is so important.

This verse would make no sense if said was, “You shall love the Lord your God with some of your heart, and some of your soul, and some of your mind.” No! This God, the holy God of the Universe, who has saved us from our sins, he deserves all of our affection, all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind given over to him. I would just ask you, even in your life right now, would you say your life is marked by love for God, affection for God, desire for God, delight in God? And if not, I would encourage you, this is what God desires in his relationship with you. He desires for your relationship with him to be marked by delight, and desire, and love and affection.

How the Greatest Commandment Relates to Our Personal Lives

And so, I think about my own life, I think about all the ways that this world pulls at my heart. That all the ways that I’m prone to love, even good things in this world. It’s not that good things are bad. I mean they’re good, that’s what meant for them to be good. That’s when I think about Jesus’ words back in Matthew Chapter 10. When he said that our love for him should make our love for our closest relationships in the world, look like hate in comparison. Because love for God should be so supreme in our attentions, in our affections. And it just makes sense, because this is where life is found. Life is found in a love relationship with the almighty God of the universe.

Matthew 22:35–38 Guide How We Should Live

So, shall we pray? God help us. God help us in a world where our affections are tempted to be divided at every turn. Help us to give you all of our affections. Help us we pray to love you with all our heart. To love you with all our soul, to love you with all of our mind. To experience the wonder, and beauty, and delight of a love relationship with you today. God help us. Help us to repent of sin. To turn from any and everything in our lives that’s keeping us from intimacy with you.

Oh, even just praying that God, thank you for the privilege of intimacy with you today. Thank you for the opportunity to be in a love relationship with you. We praise you for this, and say yes to this command. We want to love you with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, so help us to do that, we pray. And help us in the process. We trust we will experience life as you’ve designed it to be lived, when it’s lived in love for you. Oh, God may it be so, we pray. In Jesus name. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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