For most Christians an important part of the Bible are the New Testament words of Jesus.
According to a Bible I looked into recently, the most important words of Jesus are in what the publisher calls "The great Commandment."
The Apostle Mark calls it the "First Commandment," which is closely followed in important by the "Second Commandment." It appears to be Jesus Himself who says, "There are no other Commandments greater than these."
These two greatest of Commandments are about love. Love seems to be a big deal for Jesus. It seems that the Greeks who wrote out thees Commandments had about half a dozen ways to write 'love;' each with a different meaning The Greeks selected one of them to use for the Word Jesus used. The Greeks were a discriminating people as Jesus was a discriminating being. What meaning do you believe is meant in the Bible?
It is important to many Christians to give the words of the New Testament careful attention.
Looking at the first of these Greatest of Commandments, I see that the word 'thy' is used. 'Thy' refers to that which is your very own, but i contains much more meaning that that. It also means that which is familiar and friendly. More, it refers to that in which you trust and confide.
An important part of that First Commandment says, as I remember, "Love thy god with thy whole heart soul, mind, strength." That use of 'thy' suggests to me that Jesus thought that you have your very own God who is a familiar fried to you, in whom you can trust and confide. It also suggest that Jesus believed that you have heart, soul, mind that you can trust and learn how to use.
Jesus, it seems to me, said that one of the most important of ones doings is to love that very own God of yours. I'm pretty sure that does not mean that you should hug and kiss him, and take him to bed. I think that it means to love him a bit in the way his mother, Mary, loved Him. The love that Jesus speaks of seems to me to be about nurturing an supporting, and a helping to mature and thrive. I can figure how I might do that for my enemy or my neighbor. I'm not sure how to love a god or the God. One can want the best for God. One might cooperate with Good. One can make a effort to get to know Him and his laws, and to be good followers of those laws. God might find such cooperation loving. One can try.
Jesus, I believe, commands us to love our enemies. I don't thing that Jesus wants us to support are enemies in their efforts against or to strengthen their ability to defeat us. He dose not want our
enemies to be strong successful enemies. I think that what he more probably wants is for us to help them be more successful human beings who we can trust in familiarity and friendship. Jesus seems to have thought that the good and goodness are important parts of love. We have a lot to learn
The second of the top two Commandments is the one I have found most useful to me. That's the one that says, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self." To me it provides direction for good living. Here and now I've just a few hints about its usefulness.
To me it suggests that it is very important for me to know myself. It suggests that I ought to be clear about how I love myself. It tells me that the better I am able to love myself the more successfully I may love another. I calls me to learn the nature of self love.
It seems that there were those who were not sure who Jesus meant should be included among our neighbors. To help them to understand Jesus tells them a story. He has them imagine, as I remember, that they are strangers in a strange land and that we see a person strange to us and to the land. He has us see that the strange is in trouble. He lets us know that we ought help this strange overcome his trouble. He lets us know that such a 'stranger' is to be included among the neighbors we love as we love ourselves.
To me, it seems that Jesus directs those sense to widen and deepen their understanding of: love, self, neighbor, enemy, God, heart, mind, trust, ....
Since last I posted - Lots of activity has kept me away from my blog. To sum things up: we've moved from our home of the past 25+ years and have moved to a new retirement communit...
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