Sum it all up
His name was Dr. James Bradley. He was a history prof at Fuller Seminary and he was, without a doubt, my favorite professor. His opening devotions and prayers were worth the price of admission. But then he would launch into the topic of the day—some aspect of Christian history—that captured me and carried me back to that moment in time. I loved Dr. Bradley’s classes. It was because of him that I pursued my PhD in church history.
Dr. Bradley was brilliant and had 2,000 years of church history packed into that brain of his. I never heard anyone ask him the question, “Dr. Bradley—what is the greatest moment in Church History?” But if had answered it, we would have all been writing furiously to capture this brilliant man’s distillation of 2,000 years of history.
Well, someone DID ask something like that of Jesus. And he answered it…in very pithy terms. Imagine that! The greatest teacher in the history of the world distills his teaching down to 22 words.
Now, you’d think that those who claim to be disciples of Jesus—followers of Jesus—those who own him as the very Lord and Master of their life—you’d think that someone who claims such an allegiance would, at the very least, seek to obey this summary of his teaching. But it is astounding how neglectful we Christ-followers can be of what Jesus described called the Great Commandment.
(By the way, in case it has slipped your mind, it has to do with loving God…and loving our neighbor. Apparently, in the mind of Jesus, those two are inextricably bound!)
We have been talking about being “For the City.” For the next few weeks, we will tighten down the focus as we talk about being For Our Neighbors. What Jesus described as the “great commandment” may be among the most neglected! Let’s do something about that!