The disciples are asking Jesus “what is the greatest commandment?” And, like so often happens with Jesus, the answer they get is more than they expected.

The greatest commandment, like Jesus Himself, is a triune commandment. It is a single command, in three parts.

The first part is to love God with all your heart, mind, and soul. Only God is God. Love Him with your entire being. Trust Him above all others vying for your affection.

The second part is to love your neighbor. See people the way God sees them. Care for them. Share in their burdens and celebrations. Listen to others and do what you can to honor them.

The third part is sneaky. It is tucked in under the two words “as yourself”. The greatest commandment includes a command to love yourself. In fact, it assumes it. It assumes that human beings always do what they believe to be in their best self-interest. And the command here is to press into that. What is really best for you?

Love God. Love others. Love self. These are not three separate silos; they are three strands braided together to form an effective and holy human life. You can’t love God without acknowledging His Presence in you and in those around you. And you cannot love others without acknowledging as worthy what you have to contribute to community. They are all connected.

Jesus’ great command is to weave these threads together, day in and day out. Choice by choice. To find the alignment, the connection, the deep truth of reality – that all exists to celebrate God’s goodness.

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
– Matthew 22:37-39