The Life and Teachings
of Jesus
A Restatement of the Gospels

125. The Great Commandment

        34But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. 35And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him, 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?”a
        29Jesus answered, “The first is, 'Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' 39And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”
        32And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he; 33and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
        34And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
        And after that no one dared to ask him any question.
        (Mt. 22:34–36; Mk. 12:29–30; Mt. 22:39, 40; Mk. 12:32–34)

a    “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” —Here this question is clearly answered. Jesus quotes Dt. 6:4–5, which commands us to love God supremely and to love our neighbor as ourselves. He then goes on to say, “On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” The commandment to love is “the greatest commandment.”
        In 1 Corinthians Paul gives this beautiful description of the nature and import of love: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind, love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” ( (1 Cor. 13:1–7, 13)

Mt. 22:36  the greatest commandment / the great commandment (RSV)
Mk. 12:29   Dt. 6:4
Mk. 12:30   Dt. 6:4   (174:4/1901)