37 Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37–40 NET
Each time I read this passage I ask myself the same question, is it really this simple? After a short time of reflection I always come back to the same answer, which is YES, it is this simple. Jesus was right when he said that every other law depends on these two commandments. No matter what law, or command you think of that God has prescribed for humanity they all deal either with loving God or loving others in some way. If you look at the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 you might notice that the first four deal with our love for God, and the final six with our love for others. Many times we complicate the Christian faith beyond reason. This is partly to blame for the sharp decline in both church attendance and volunteerism in the church as well. People are easily frustrated by all of the written and unwritten rules that they perceive to be burdensome to life, so they disengage and retreat to the sidelines of the faith. Jesus knew that keeping it simple was better not just for the Pharisees he addressed in this text, but for us as well. There are two main things God calls us to do, and we can with some effort do them both well and find fulfillment in our faith. We should put our full effort into loving God and loving others this and every other day of our lives.