The Greatest Commandment

When we think about commandments, what pops up first is the ten commandments, but when you dig deep into the scriptures, you will discover that although all these commandments must be followed accordingly, there are commandments that have been ranked higher than all these. 

That commandment, in simple terms, is "love”.

This commandment, "love," was divided into the love for God and the love for our fellow humans, but the most important is the love for God.

The Love for God

Looking at Matthew 22:37, when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He said “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”.

What does it then mean to love your God? According to the dictionary, to love means to have a warm personal attachment to or deep affection for. This means that you are fond of this person, you are attached to them etc.

Now, to love God means to love all that he stands for, which includes all His commandments, to live a godly life, and to live a life he would be pleased with. After all, when we claim we love someone, we can’t stand being far away from them, and as such, we can’t be far away from God. We must be near him through fellowship with believers, reading the scriptures, and spending alone time with him. There are lots of things that can be done to remain close to God, but these are a few.

Another thing a believer must do to show that we love God is to spread the gospel abroad and bring many souls to the kingdom of heaven. Another way we can show that we love God is to trust in him completely. Looking at our earthly parents, because they have nurtured us and have been there for us, we trust them completely. In some people’s cases, there is someone that they trust and who has been there for them.

So if it is easy for us to trust these earthly beings, why not our heavenly father, who is great in mercy and has our best interests at heart? No earthly being loves us as much as God loves us, so we must love him too with that same energy.

Loving Your Neighbour as Yourself

The second segment of love would be love for our fellow humans. In Matthew 22:39-40, Jesus was still giving his answer and he said;  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

From Matthew 22:39-40; we are to love our neighbours as ourselves. In today’s world, some people have been wired to love themselves so much that even when they hurt their neighbours, they’ll not flinch because, as long as they are happy, nobody else matters.

Some call it self love but that is not it. When you don’t have the interests of people around you at heart, it’s something you should be worried about. Because how would you feel knowing that people are doing things at your expense all in the name of self love? It won’t make you happy. We should try to have the interests of other people in our hearts in our day to day lives.

Another way to love our neighbours is through forgiveness. We are humans, and sometimes people hurt us or even betray us, but we must never hate these people because we would then be letting them be an excuse to disobey God. As believers, we are to live like Christ would, and that includes forgiving our neighbours. 

Forgiving in Love

Do you know how many times we are asked to forgive in the Bible in a day? 70*7, and honestly, nobody would offend you that much in a day. We fault our father in heaven, and he willingly forgives us when we ask for forgiveness, so why don't we offer our arms of forgiveness to those who have wronged us? Or do you think you yourself are above mistakes?

I am sure we have had situations where we have stepped on people’s toes, knowingly or unknowingly, and in that moment, all we can do is ask the person we have offended to forgive us. If we can do that to others and they forgive us, won’t it be wicked to look at your neighbour and not forgive them when they offend you?

We can also love our neighbours by not turning a blind eye to their pain and by helping them in any way we can. As Christians, we can also intercede for them in prayer and stand in the gap for them. In doing all these, we are loving them as we were commanded.

Loving God means living our lives to please him and obeying the commandments he has given us. 

To buttress these points, let’s look at a few scriptures

John 15:12-13

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” This scripture talks about loving each other the way God loves us 

1 John 3:16-18

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.


The foundation of the greatest commandment is love, and it isn’t even farfetched because it was out of love that God sent his son to die for us on the cross. And since God loves us unconditionally, we too must love God accordingly, despite our flaws as humans. 

Loving God is the greatest commandment, and second to it is loving our neighbours as ourselves. 

Further Reading

For personal study purposes, please kindly refer to the following Scriptures and related Christian texts.

1 John 2

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