by Glenn Smith
I was recently asked to explain Matthew 22:37.
Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 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.’ This is the first and great commandment.
Here, Jesus tells us that the first and greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind.
Heart: In the Bible, our heart is not the emotional center, but the center of all of ourselves…..it’s like the heart of a tree is the center of the tree. Jesus is saying here to love God with every part of ourselves. If we love God with our heart, we love God down to the very center of ourselves.
Soul: This is the part of us that makes us who we are, the part that makes us human and alive. Jesus is saying to love God with all that we are. The opposite of this would be to just love God with our flesh, or just our emotions. Rather, God wants us to love with all of our being.
Mind: The main point here is that we are not merely to love God with an emotional love, but with all of ourselves, including our mind.
What does it mean to love God with our mind? It means to love Him by thinking about Him, by learning more about Him. Think of two young people in love…..what do they think about? They think about the other person, what they are like, what makes them special. Jesus tells us to love God by thinking about Him. Think about what God is like, what His characteristics are like. We are to put our mind in gear and think. Christianity is for thinking people, and we are to love God by thinking about Him, learning about Him…
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