A weekly devotional by Reverend Dr. Kevin Schwamb
According to the National Retail Federation you can put a price on love. When it comes to shopping for Valentine’s Day, the average man will spend $10.38 on his significant other, while the average woman will spend $49.41 on hers. Why such a difference? Perhaps it has something to do with our failure to understand and express true love.
In the gospel of Matthew, we have a definitive statement on the nature and preeminence of love. Let me first set the context of Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:34-40. It is the final week of Christ’s life on earth, probably Tuesday of Passion week. Jesus has just responded to a series of loaded question brought by the Pharisees and the Sadducees on the subject of taxes and the resurrection. Following their unsuccessful attempts to entrap him in his words, a scribe (an expert in the Law) comes and tries to test Christ by asking, “Which is the great commandment in the Law?” In response, Jesus summarizes all of the Law and the Prophets by saying first we are to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind. Then Jesus goes on to say, and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself.
These words remind us that the source and expression of true love is found first in God and is to be expressed back to God. When we love God as we should, we will desire to demonstrate love to our neighbor, whoever we come in contact with.
Jesus continues to challenge His followers to ask, “Where’s the Love”?