A couple of hours ago, a friend shared over lunch her confusion concerning the Government’s Covid-19 guidelines. Our friend was not being critical, but like most of us, was simply struggling to keep up. Not a day goes past without some restriction being lifted and others imposed. Every news briefing appears to include the announcement of a new regulation or the abolishment of an old one. It is, as political commentators say, ‘a changing-landscape’.
Given the uncertainty of the world in which we live, I am very thankful for the things that don’t change. Take for example, God’s nature, character and promises. Are you not grateful that the Writer to the Hebrews, categorically states that; ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever’? (Hebrews 13:8) Practically speaking, that means that he never actually (or metaphorically) gets up on the wrong side of the bed. It means that his love and grace remain consistent and readily available. In the same way, I am thankful that the Lord doesn’t change his instructions to us.
Matthew tell us ‘But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the Law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 11:34-40)
What I find so fascinating about Jesus response to the question, is not that he dismissed the importance of anything that was said before, not any of the commandments that were given after. Through his answer, Jesus enables us to see that obedience to him isn’t about slavish adherence nor dutiful subservience. Rather, to put it simply, our obedience to God is nothing more, nor nothing less than an expression of our love for him.
Isn’t that gloriously uncomplicated?