I’ve been reading Matthew 22 quite a lot recently.

In particular the bit summarised (in my bible at least) as The Greatest Commandment (say it in an X-Factor-speaky-man-Newcastle-accenty way and it sounds pretty awesome)

You know the bit, I’m sure. The Pharisees come up to Jesus and, trying to catch him out, ask him a question – they ask Jesus “which is the most important commandment in the Law?” Jesus, being the genius that he is, replies with this:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.

And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ 

All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

 Now, as a response, it’s pretty amazing right. There are 613 laws or commandments in Judaism, so to sum it up so concisely is pretty incredible.

But it’s more than just an amazing answer to a difficult question. It is a profoundly life-changing statement.

Just look at it for a second.

“Love God” – serve Him, follow Him, give to Him, follow Him, do what He says, learn from Him, become like Him, go where He goes, enjoy the things that He enjoys…you know, LOVE HIM.

Then, the second bit, which is where I’ve been pondering recently.

“Love you neighbour as yourself” – Love the people around you in the same way that you love yourself; treat, value and honour your neighbours because this is intrinsically linked to the way you do the same for yourself.

Well that is fascinating.

Just imagine for a moment if we all really lived like that. Or even if just you and me really lived like that. Wouldn’t the world be a totally different place? You betcha…I reckon there would be a few pretty massive outcomes (and loads more let’s face it)

1. We would learn to love ourselves more.

2. We would look after each other rather than looking out for ourselves.

3. We would become lots more like Jesus.

Which would be pretty amazing really.

We will look at this a bit more in the future, but I just wanted to drop it in to conversation as something for us all to start thinking about, to start acting upon and to help us start living differently. Which would also be pretty amazing.

So, to start, how can you love your neighbour? How can you treat yourself with more kindness?



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