“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”– Matthew 22:36-39
Today I’m just dreaming, just pondering what the world would be like of we could all just grasp that one little commandment and diligently pursue it. I call it “little,” but it’s not little at all, it’s huge. It’s a commandment for a lifetime, it can take decades just to get a feel for the edges of it.
A bit amusing, but when I was a kid talking to God, I was so overwhelmed by the ten commandments, I completely despaired, convinced I could never follow Jesus Christ, could never be a Christian. Only ten simple commandments and yet even as a child I knew I could not keep them, not in a spiritual sense. Perhaps I could avoid killing actual people, but I sure couldn’t avoid wishing death upon a few.
Enter grace, sweet, amazing grace. Of course I could not do it, that was the whole point, that was the reason for cross, that is why Jesus Christ came to pay our ransom. “There are none righteous, not one….,” we learn in Romans.
So God pointed me to that one simple commandment, as if to say, “here, just try to keep this one, the super commandment, the most important, the one on which hang all the law and the prophets.” God has a sense of humor indeed, because I was looking for something more like what one might find in a fortune cookie and He gave me something more akin to rocket science or intricate brain surgery. While those words may fit inside a cookie, they are more like a mustard seed or perhaps the DNA code written on a few cells. Intricate, complex, bigger than our brain’s ability to even receive them.
So non-believers and even a few Christians will tell me, that’s just the golden rule, “just do unto others,” just equate empathy with morality, just be a good person, and yet Christ Himself says, why do you call me good?
“And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.” -Luke 18:19
The golden rule, if only it were that simple, if only we understood what truly lurks within that tiny mustard seed and yet for all of human history we’ve never been able to unwrap it and truly pull it off. If it were just the golden rule, than overcoming sin in the world would be a simple matter and we’d all be living as if we were still in that perfect garden walking hand in hand with our Creator in the cool of the evenings.
Unfortunately that hand that we could so easily just slip into our Father’s, is always so clenched in anger, shaking itself defiantly against….well, just about everything. I never cease to be amazed by our capacity to be offended, outraged over the strangest things. Shoelaces. Today I read about a protest against shoelaces, and while it is somewhat comical it is really no different from all the other the outrage, defiance, offense we like to pour out over ourselves.
We’re all going to change the world, single-handedly if necessary, often completely forgetting the One who already did.