34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them [a scholar of the law] tested him by asking, 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 [Jesus] 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.”
When asked what the greatest law was, the Law of laws, Jesus replied that it is to love God with all that we are, and to love our neighbors the same way, and ourselves as well.
This commandment is not the only one, but as the first and greatest commandment all other ‘laws’ and requirements must be filtered and interpreted through this one. When I ask is it ‘lawful’ to do hate, to protest, to seek revenge, to discriminate, it must first be viewed through the standard of the Greatest Law: to love God, neighbor and self with our entire beings.
All other laws are judged by this one.
So sexual laws, dietary laws, racists laws, cultural laws, and the like are judged – or should be scene, interpreted and lived out – through the lens of this great commandment.
So whenever I want to interpret other sayings in the Bible, like the writings of Paul or any of the Jewish laws, or even the laws that govern this land – as a follower of Jesus – I am compelled to interpret ALL of them through this Great Law Of Love.
I could say that when in doubt (about something) err on the side of Love.
When I hear or read any doctrine, dogma, or theology of any faith, I view it through the Great Law of love, and if it is found wanting, I must set aside for the greater good of loving. When I read about Christians or people of other or no faith saying “hate this” or “hate that” I must ask, what would God’s love do? How would God’s love respond?
As I peruse the news, the overwhelming saturation of hate and hateful deeds sickens me. We have lost out way. We have succumbed to our lesser demons and left out better angels out to die.
Love. Love. Love.
We must return again and again to this Great Law – the Law of love – and live our lives from that ‘legal system’. If we do not we may be doomed to our darkness and misery.