and the greatest is …

faith, hope, love, . . . but the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:13

As I wonder exactly why Paul chose “love,” I think it becomes clear…when we join the remaining passages of Love throughout the Bible (and there are many) with this  verse.  Recall 1 John 4:8

He who does not know love does not know God, for God is love. – 1 Jn 4:8

Therefore, if we believe in who God is, then it’s clear that if God is love, then LOVE is the GREATEST of all things.

Jesus commanded us to Love the Lord (the “first” commandment – Mark 12:30) and to love one another  (and the “second” commandment – like the first – Mark 12:31). It seems as though Jesus summed up ALL the commandments in just this simple act of LOVE!

There is no other commandment greater than these – Mark 12:31

As one scribe put it…

So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He.  And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”  – Mark 12:32-33

Love is communicating grace and identifies us as children of God.
– Gaebelein, pg 270 of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary

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