But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:34-40 (NLT)
Good question. Better answer. There are 613 Laws of Moses if you included the first two of the 10 Commandments. I don’t know, but I suspect that Jesus’ answer is not included in the 613. I also believe it is the only correct answer.
I think Jesus’ first and greatest commandment tells us a bit about who God is. He did not say love God like you love chocolate ice cream. He says to love God “with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” That seems to pretty much cover our entire being which also implies that God is also a being who we can be in relationship with and who loves us first, without any merit on our part.
I think Jesus’ second commandment “Love your neighbor as yourself” also tells us more than we see on the surface. If we see God as the Creator and Sustainer, we must see God in all his creation, yes even our neighbor. Even the one who lets his dog poop on your yard. The one with the yard sign proclaiming a different political view. The one you can’t understand because their first language is not English. I believe all creation contains a spark of the Creator and if we are to love God we are to love it all.
Lord God, teach me to love as you love. In Jesus’ name. Amen