The Royal Law
One of the teachers of religion who was standing there listening to the discussion realized that Jesus had answered well. So he asked, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
Jesus replied, "The one that says,'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only God. And you must love him with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.'
"The second is: 'You must love others as much as yourself.' No other commandments are greater than these."
Mark 12: 28-31 (TLB)
Yes indeed, it is good when you truly obey our Lord's command, "You must love and help your neighbors just as much as you love and take care of yourself." James 2:8 (TLB)
Hitesh J. Solanki lives in Gujarat, India. Not long after he got married, his wife and Hitesh went to a sandwich shop. They were about to eat when a man in ragged clothes gazed at them and asked for food. At first, Hitesh tried to pretend that he didn't notice him, but his wife looked at him.She gave her sandwich to that man. Hitesh pouted and thought, How impractical! It is easier to get rid of this beggar by giving him a few coins than buying him such costly food.
After they went home, Hitesh pondered the incident. He felt ashamed of his attitude toward that man. He had been selfish. He thought about his many blessings. Those blessings are God's grace - not his own achievements. And God wants him to share those blessings with everyone.
When Hitesh had the opportunity to share at least one of those blessings, he wanted to share only the leftover part by giving the man a few coins. He failed to practice the royal law of love in today's quoted verse. Because he gave more importance to his pleasure than his need, he was not loving him "as myself." God has shown us how to love our neighbors as ourselves through Jesus, who not only taught us the royal law of love but lived it out by giving up his life on the cross.
Prayer: Dear Lord, fill our hearts with compassion so that we can love others as ourselves, in Jesus' name. Amen