And yet our Lord gave us but one ‘law’, though in three parts: “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31). We should note that the first commandment is “Hear O Israel”. We are instructed to hear the statement that then follows: to hearken if you will, to take heed, to fully embrace, to make part of our essence. The other aspect of this is that ‘Israel’ can be interpreted as ‘Prince of God’, thus this proclamation to ‘Hear O Israel’ can be paraphrased as ‘You, as an authoritative heir of God’s Kingdom, take fully into your very core (heart) this truism, and embrace it completely ’.
Have you ever wondered why, when Jesus is asked what is the first commandment, he gives us two? Note that His definition starts with ‘The LORD is one’. This implies there is no other god. We cannot create, nor is there created from other sources, a god which can be The God. Jesus then goes on to say that we should revere that god with all of our being, for He says that exactly ‘like’ this, we are immersed totally into the essence of god. And realising this we find not only ourselves, but all of humanity in the reality of god. We are immersed (baptized) in the total godness of humanity, and the humanness of God. It is not possible to separate ourselves to be less than the LORD, as we are infused in the godhead.
This is the New Covenant – He has now made you one with and in Himself, a co-heir, a co-ruler of His Kingdom, seated with Jesus. He has lifted you up, adopted you as His ‘son’ to rule with Him. You shall never be forsaken nor abandoned. You are always part of the omni-love of our Father. The original ‘covenant’ God made with Adam – be My image, be fruitful, and have dominion – the same basic premise of all of the ‘covenants’ – has now been fulfilled!
In 2 Corinthians 3:6 we are told to be ministers of this ‘covenant’, so how do we achieve this? When Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34), and again, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12), the ‘new’ aspect is “as I have loved you”. And that ‘love of Jesus’, God’s love for us, and by association our love for each other, is defined as “the giving of ourselves, and all that we have, for the betterment of the other, regardless of how much it may affect us”, as we see in the parable of the ‘good Samaritan’. Thus, any rules, laws or other restrictions placed upon you, or you place on others, can only be in and by the LOVE that Christ demonstrated. Now we are called to go and share this good news and to serve each other (minister) His way.