Scariest verse from my reading this morning: “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” (Matt. 22:29)
But Jesus also keeps things simple.
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘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 neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matt. 22:24-40, NIV)
The simplicity had been with them all along. The Law of Moses given was wrapped up in this way from the beginning. They were choosing to ignore it.
But a note I found from the Orthodox Study Bible opens up that second commandment a bit more for me:
This second commandment must be understood as written: You shall love your neighbor as yourself, or more clearly, “as being yourself.” It is often misinterpreted, “You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself,” which destroys the force of the statement. How much we love ourselves is not the standard by which Christ is calling us to love others. Rather, we are called to love our neighbor as being of the same nature as we ourselves are, as being created in God’s image and likeness just as we are. As the Fathers teach, we find our true self in loving our neighbor.
We need this lesson all over again as believers. We need to understand how to see the other.
Keep it simple, saints. Simple isn’t “easy.” But… we sure like to complicate what is really simple in the Kingdom of God.