It’s a really good question, even if we don’t like commandments. I’m not a fan of commandments. I’d rather do my own thing. I’d rather, like Sinatra, “do it my way.”
But where has this gotten us, doing things our way? From “the war to end all wars,” to World War II, to Rwanda, Syria, Israel, residential schools, the splitting of congregations and Churches, doing it our way hasn’t gone so well!
When I had just begun to walk, my parents told me, “Don’t leave the yard by yourself.” “Don’t put things in your mouth.” I didn’t like commandments then. I left the yard. I stuck things in my mouth and swallowed. By God’s grace I am still here to talk about it. I would have been much better off to obey my parents’ commands. They deeply and consistently have loved me.
That’s why this question addressed to Jesus by a scribe is such a good one. Jesus is the One being addressed. And Jesus loves us-HUMUNGOUSLY. So when Jesus tells us to do something, it’s not about a power trip or manipulation. Rather it’s about love for us.
Love God! Love each other! Not always our way. But this is God’s way. And it’s good.
Gracious One, help us listen to you and obey for the good of all, including ourselves. Amen. — TBL