“Jesus replied, “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22: 37-40)
In this profound passage from the Gospel of Matthew we hear Jesus say that two commandments are the essence of the whole Bible. Jesus was the greatest Teacher this world has ever heard or will ever hear. He astonished the theologians of His day especially by how He took the complex and made it so very simple.
With great wisdom and insight someone has written:
“I sought my soul but my soul I could not see.
I sought my God but my God eluded me.
I met my neighbor and I found all three.”
When people use a gesture as they speak of God they often raise both arms above their head. If we understand these two commandments that express the essence of the entire Bible we would be more likely to spread our arms horizontally when we speak of God.
In my opinion, the most dynamic truth in the Bible is that we can know God and that God knows us. If you want to know God, my sense is that you will not find Him by climbing an ivory tower or by withdrawing from this world of people and become a monastic.
I believe it is not either/or but both/and. You can seek Him and find Him in solitude but not without becoming a conduit of the love He has for the people of this world – all the people of this world. Seek to know Him in both these directions.