From the Pharisees to Jesus: “What commandment in the law is the greatest?"
Jesus answered the question by giving them what they already knew -- but weren't expecting.
Jesus responded with the perfect answer.
In this week’s Bible reading from Matthew 22:34-46, Jesus responded, to the question by going outside of the expected 10. He recited the scriptures -- first the Great Shema from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (The what? The affirmation of faith that begins with the "Hear oh Israel" phrases that parents are supposed to repeat and teach their children and put on their doorposts. This one is "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.") Then Jesus gave them other words they were familiar with from Leviticus 19:18 -- "Love your neighbor as yourself."
And no one could respond. Jesus gave it to them in plain talk. Those were the two and everything else hinged (and hinges) on them.
Of course, the question, "Who is my neighbor" comes to mind with that second one. Jesus addressed that another time -- with the answer being just as simple. Everyone is your neighbor.
So those two commandments -- the most important ones -- the ones that inform everything else:
- Love God
- Love everyone
End of quiz.