Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Greatest Commandment

And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then Thomas said to him, "Lord, are there few who are going to be saved?" (Luke 13:22-23) And he said to them, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it (Matthew 7:13-14)." "For I tell you, many will try to enter and will not be able (Luke 13:24)."

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, "Which is the first commandment of all?" And Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is, "Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength!" This is the first commandment. And the second is like it, namely this, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." There is none other commandment greater than these." And the scribe said unto him, "Well said, Rabbi, you have said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but He, and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is better than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices!" And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said unto him, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God (Mark 12:28-34)." But he said unto Jesus, "And just who is my neighbor?"  And Jesus answering said, "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his clothes, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And in the same manner a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went over to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on his injuries, and then he set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two days wages, and gave them to the innkeeper, and said unto him, "Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you." Which now of these three, do you think, was a neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?" And the scribe said, "He that showed mercy to him." Then Jesus said unto him, "Go, and do likewise. Go, feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless and the stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick and the imprisoned." (Luke 10:29-37)

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