When they asked Jesus, "Which is the most important of all the commands?" Jesus said, "Love God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength. Then, love your neighbor as yourself. All the others hang on these two" (Matthew 22:34-40).

My question: Is this enough?

Jesus said these are the most important things: Love God and love people.

My question: Is this enough?

For those asking the original question, it seems the answer did not satisfy. Jesus follows His answer with a question for them, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?" (v. 42) After they wrestled with the question Matthew says, "No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions" (Matthew 22:46 MSG).

In chapter 23, Jesus speaks to the crowds and to his disciples:

"The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach" (23:2-3).

The rest of chapter 23 contains some of the most harsh statements ever uttered by Jesus.

Again, my question: Is love for God and love for people enough?

What if it was? What if we took Jesus seriously? What if we said that loving God and loving people is our goal — that these two would be priority #1 and #2 in our lives?

If we would let loving God and loving people be enough, there would be few arguments about following His teaching and doing whatever He called upon us to do. He addresses this very clearly in some of His last words with His disciples (John 13:1-17:26). Most of the issues we debate about would possibly be resolved. He clears up many of these questions — hard questions we wrestle with — in His sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), but again, these all focus down to these two basic priorities.

It's worth a try, don't you think?
If we would let loving God and loving people be enough, many of the issues of "Who is lovable and who is not?", "Who is acceptable in the Kingdom and who is not?", "What is right and what is wrong for God's people to do in worship, in business, in marriage, and in all our relationships?" could be settled. Or better yet, they would never surface. It might bring some clarity to many of the questions we have about how to take care of our planet, poverty, war, and how to interact with people of other races and religions.

All these good things could happen if we would let loving God and loving people be enough. So, we're back to the question: is it enough?

This is not a question to be answered only by the religious leaders of Jesus' day, or our day. It is the fundamental question we all must answer. As Jesus said, everything else depends on how we answer this question. Everything else in my life depends on how I answer this question. So it is rather important.

A new week is upon us. A new challenge is before us. Will we love God and love people this week as of first importance? Will that be enough? Will we let it be enough?

It's worth a try, don't you think? This week: love God and love people.