The Greatest Commandment

When Jesus was dining at the home of His best friend, Lazarus, one of Lazarus’s sisters, Martha, was serving. Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet (Luke 10:38-42). Martha, so consumed with serving Jesus did not in fact serve Him. She insisted, interrupted, demanded something of Him, demeaned one of His children, distracted Him from His teaching, and failed to please His heart. Mary, on the other hand, did the better thing, the best thing.

I am made for the pursuit of Jesus Himself. Not a cataloged knowledge of Him, not an offering to Him, not even, dare I say, His approval. Just Him, His heart, my heart soulmates with His. Sitting at His feet, soaking in His presence. To love Him with all my heart.

I am told to pursue His kingdom, His righteousness. For so many of us, myself included, this means to pursue a list of external righteous works that makes for a visibly holy life. An exhausting pursuit that leaves me empty, desiccated, mummified. A poor light for a poor world. But His righteousness is only found in Him and His kingdom is only furthered when His servant sits at His feet. What greater humility or service or love is there than that? That I can offer to the king who died for me? 

If I wish to offer Him my life I must begin by offering Him my heart and seeking His for my very own. If I seek to love Him with all my strength, perhaps I must first seek Him with all of my heart, all of my soul. The greatest commandment. What makes it the greatest is not that it is the most lofty or the most difficult. It is that it encapsulates every other commandment (Matthew 22:37-40).

If ever I am weary in seeking to follow the whole word of God, I need only remember what Jesus says sums up the entire book, every single thing God ever desired from His people brought to this single point, the single point that brings every other piece into place. To love my Jesus.

I don’t know what else I could want out of life but this. A life where everything fits neatly inside the time I have, the energy I have to expend. I live, for every single thing I need is added to me because I pursue the one thing that matters to me. Jesus Christ. This is peace. This is life abundant. And this will be life forever.

Excerpt from “Peace and How to Keep It.” Coming fall 2020.