Rules. There are rules for everything under the sun. Rules that keep us safe; like traffic rules, pool rules and school rules. Rules that guide us through things; like how to play monopoly, how to set up a Facebook account, and how to clean your grill. Rules to keep us from doing things; like rules about turning right on red, staying off the grass, and no fishing here. We even have rules for how our email is sorted. Rules are meant to protect us, keep us safe and show us how to do things correctly. Rules are supposed to be good for us and help us do something well.
Rules can also be used against something or made to favor something else. Rules can be taken out of context, stretched and bent until there is nothing left resembling the original concept.
That is just what the Pharisees were trying to do in Matthew 22. They were trying to trip Jesus up with the rules. He came back at them the best answer possible. Let these two rules guide your lives and everything else will fall into place.
Love the Lord your God with all of your passion (heart), and prayer (soul), and intelligence (mind). Love others as well as you love yourself.
Two rules. Rule one and rule two. Not a whole laundry list, but two. If we keep in mind these two rules everything else works. Jesus said ALL the laws hang from these two rules. These two rules are the key to making life work and God smile.
How easy? As long as we don't try to bend them, stretch them or turn them into something that they're not, we should get along just fine.
1. Love God with all you've got
2. Be Kind to yourself and others
Two rules. Count them again. Two! Two rules for living life well and loving God even more. WaHoo!
Matthew 22: 37-40 MSG
"Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”