The hook was the "hook" for the lesson. It represented the two-pronged imperative that the entire life of a disciple is lived out of. The child of God, the follower of Christ, needs only to remember one thing -- to love. If you forget everything that's written in the Law and in the Prophets, but you remember to love, you've got it covered. One supreme action, commanded to be poured out in two directions - like the two beams of a cross. Vertical love; loving God with everything I've got. Horizontal love; loving other people, all people, as if they were me.
Today's text begins with Jesus having silenced the Sadduccees. So the Pharisees took a shot at Him and the result of that volley was, "from that day on no one dared to ask Him any more questions!" Jesus baffled the self-proclaimed experts. His sayings were too hard to understand. Hmmm. Really? Or were they too easy? Love God. Love others. Done. But then, how could these holymen maintain their reputations through position, power and meticulous piety? Jesus had brought them low by the profound simplicity of love. They had exalted themselves and Christ humbled them. But those who humble themselves to love God and man through selfless service - these he promises to exalt.
Don't ever be a Pharisee. Don't be a "do as I say, not as I do" hypocrite. Don't preach and not practice. Be a disciple of Jesus. Be His follower, His student, His imitator. Pour out love in two directions. And keep asking for His help. So easy, yet so hard.
Pray: I do love you, Lord. Help me to love you more. And help me to demonstrate that love by the way I love others. I cannot say I love You and hate my brother. Humble me. Teach me. There are no greater lessons than Your lessons of love.