During a first century conversation, Jesus’ disciples begin to wonder who is the best? Unlike modern day sports radio debates on the GOAT, the greatest of all time, these men wanted to know who was the most spiritual? While bringing up criteria to distinguish the best, Jesus points curious minds in the right direction. If you want to become the greatest Christian in the eyes of the world, you must be willing to become the greatest servant of all.
Just as the Son of Man came not to be waited on but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many [the price paid to set them free], Matthew 20:28.
A few chapters later, a Jewish religious leader asks Jesus a question, trying to ascertain the greatest commandment in the Torah. Realizing the motives of a couple of elders who attempted to persuade Jesus to de-emphasize one of the ten commandments, Jesus breaks these into two categories (loving God and loving your neighbor). The first four commandments are focused on loving God with all your heart soul and mind. The final six are based upon civil law, treating your earthly neighbors as you want to be treated.
Teacher, which kind of commandment is great and important (the principal kind) in the Law? [Some commandments are light—which are heavy?] 37 And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect). 38 This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself, Matthew 22:26-39.
As I have studied the New Testament this year, a spirit of conviction has filled my soul. As I have provided for my family and invested time writing screen plays to chase after a dream, I haven’t been a good neighbor. Instead of looking outward, fear of catching the Coronavirus and selfish ambitions have caused me to neglect God’s call to love my neighbor. With less than 6 months remaining in 2020, I pray that this blog will inspire others to become better neighbors by living out Jesus’ words in the Bible.
by Jay Mankus