Daily Devotional for December 12
December 12 Matthew 22:34-46
One rabbi tells how Moses gave 613 commandments. David,
however, reduced them to eleven (Psalm 15:2-5), Isaiah to six
(Isaiah 33:15), Micah to three (Micah 6:8), Amos to two (Amos
5:4), and Habakkuk to one (Habakkuk 2:4).
Jesus follows this tradition of simplifying the commandments
to a few pithy, profound sentences. Asked what is the greatest
commandment, Jesus replies with the two from which come
all the law and the prophets: "You shall love the Lord your
God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all
your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a
second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
In so saying, Jesus gives us the whole law in a nutshell: love
God, love your neighbor, and love yourself.
In a way, the many laws of Moses were easier to deal with
- at least you knew precisely what was required in virtually
every instance. Jesus' law is more complicated, in that it im-
plies a great deal of personal responsibility. If we stay close
enough to God, who is love, we learn what love is, as well
as its implications for our lives as we walk on our faith journey.
This requires and presupposes a relationship with God nur-
tured in prayer.
Gracious Lawgiver, I give thanks that you have
given us guidelines for our lives. Help me today to
discern how to truly fulfill the requirements of your
laws. Teach me your law of love so I can truly live a
life of love. Amen.
From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle
Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C