But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Court is in session and the Son of God is on trial. Lawyers from one religious sect have unsuccessfully cross examined Jesus and now another comes forth. I wonder what answer this lawyer expected to hear? I imagine that the first part of Jesus' answer did not surprise him. Maybe he thought Jesus would stop at loving God? Yet Jesus did not stop there but made it clear that loving God was not enough. To follow the teaching of the ten commandments one must have a love for people as well.
Interesting how Jesus describes love in this passage. Quoting the command in Deuteronomy he reminds them, and us, that our love for God must be an all encompassing and all consuming love. It is not enough to love with just a part of us. It is not enough to love God when things are going well. He requires all of our love all of the time. And he requires that we love all of his human creation - beginning with ourselves. We are made in his image and we must love those whom he loves. It is what we were created to do.
Thank you Father that I was created to love! Help me to express love today.