On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
- Luke 10:25-29
Jesus recognizes that different people see the scriptures differently - they emphasize different themes or interpret various passages in light of their own experience and education and community. Apparently, the scriptures inherently value different perspectives as well. After all, God did include the perspectives of four different authors on the life of Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), each with their own emphases and interpretations of events.
What does not seem negotiable to Jesus, however, are the two greatest commands - loving God and loving neighbor (which is precisely where this passage in Luke leads, which we’ll be looking at this week in our devotions). Regardless of our perspective, loving God and loving others are central. It’s helpful to remember these two commands when enter into religious conversations with people at church or in our lives. Especially when tensions run high, when arguments get personal, or when we feel we need to ‘defend’ God or the Bible or the church - those are the best times to ask ourselves, “Am I loving God right now? Am I loving my neighbor?”
Ask God today for the grace to value the different perspectives of others, and to always come back to love.