In James 2:8-13, it is clear that we must love our neighbor as we love ourselves. However, what is the connection between the Great Commandment and the Great Commission? In John Stott’s classic work, Christian Mission in the Modern World, we gain some helpful insight into this connection:
“We have two instructions of Jesus – a great commandment, “love your neighbor,” and a great commission, “go and make disciples.” What is the relation between the two? Some of us behave as if we thought them identical, so that if we share the gospel with somebody, we consider we have completed our responsibility to love him or her. But no. The Great Commission neither explains, nor exhausts, nor supersedes the Great Commandment. What it does is to add to the requirement of neighbor-love and neighbor-service a new and urgent Christian dimension. If we truly love our neighbor, we shall without a doubt share with him or her the good news of Jesus. How can we possibly claim to love our neighbor if we know the gospel but keep it from them? Evangelism and compassionate service belong together in the mission of God.”
We have been called to love our neighbor in all spheres of public and private life. However, we must not disconnect this from our calling to share the Gospel with others! May we be faithful by God’s grace to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission!