Jesus had such a conservation of words. Here He sums up what we often call the “Golden Rule,” of doing unto others as we would desire others to do unto ourselves. This takes the principle of reaping and sowing to new levels, but also had me thinking of the how precise the commands of Jesus are as compared to what many would say are the 613 commandments of the Old Covenant. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15), and so as I reflect I realize there are few direct commandments from Jesus. Very few. Yet, like so much about Jesus, He elevated the standard from outward physical expression of the law to an inward change of heart expressed by love.
First was the Great Commandment, which was a profoundly deep, yet simple summation of the law beginning with the point, “You shall love the LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.” He then adds the second point, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The two commandments we often combine to call the “Great Commandment” are found in Luke 10 and Matthew 23. If we love Him we will do these two things: we will love God and love people. Jesus says from these two pegs all the law and the prophets of the Old Covenant hang. In a few words Jesus could concisely tell us what ancient and modern commentators take volumes to express (of course I’m taking paragraphs to expound on a small portion of the Sermon on the Mount of which the whole message takes about five minutes to read).
Besides the Great Commandment, Jesus left us with has been called the Great Commission, which reflects our love for God and people, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” If we love God and we love people, we must tell each of them about the other. We tell God through prayer and our prayer is in love for those that do not know or love Him. This is not the place for a discourse on evangelism and discipleship, but I’ll just say yes to both. If we love God and people we will share that great love, including growing them in the grace and knowledge of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As we teach them all Jesus commanded we do exactly what John told us in his first epistle where he condensed the commandment of Jesus to the simple phrase of, “that he who loves God must love his brother also.”
The Great Commission includes that we should teach people to observe all Jesus commanded. To emulate the precision of words Jesus, and John have, the Great Commandment and Great Commission come to: 1) Great love for God, 2) Great love for people, and 3) Loving Jesus to make disciples that will go and make disciples. The overpowering truth I gain from the words of Jesus, and of John, is that this is all done in love. We love the God that so loved us that He sent His only Son that we could be reunited to Him. His love in us allows us to make disciples that love God enough to obey the commandments of Jesus to love God, love each other and go make disciples.