08 December 2016

The First Law of Heaven

Matthew 22, NIV:

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” 

Growing up, I always heard the phrase "Obedience is the first law of heaven". And yet, Jesus himself makes it absolutely clear what the first and greatest commandment is: LOVE. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he taught them that all things s should be done on earth as they are done in heaven. His entire life was an illustration of heaven brought to earth. That's what the law was for: to try to corral a stubborn and prideful people to live as close to a heavenly life on earth as was possible for them.

This morning I especially love this answer to the Pharisees because it is Jesus calling all of us higher. God IS love. We are called to be god-like in all of our interactions, to all people. Obedience to God naturally flows from the reciprocal love we have with God. But obedience is not the first law of heaven. Never has been, never will be, for the word of Jesus Christ is eternal and complete.

Father God, thank you so much for the word. Thank you for the Word made flesh who came and dwelt among us, who truly showed us who you are and who you long for us to become, in you. Bless us all, Papa, to feel that love powerfully and fully, and let every human heart be open to allow blessing flow, always. In Jesus' name, amen.