Sunday Devotional: The Greatest Commandment

Matthew 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

In Jesus’ time, the Judaic elite priesthood of Pharisees and Sadducees again and again tried to trip the Son of God by asking what they thought were difficult and clever questions, which they were certain would entrap Him into giving the “wrong” answer.

Previously, the rabbinic Pharisees had asked Jesus whether it was lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar, knowing full well how the Hebrews were chafing under Roman rule. As recounted in Matthew 22:18-21:

Knowing their malice, Jesus said,
“Why are you testing me, you hypocrites?
Show me the coin that pays the census tax.”
Then they handed him the Roman coin.
He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?”
They replied, “Caesar’s.”
At that he said to them,
“Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”

In today’s reading, the Pharisees, once again, attempt to entrap Jesus by asking Him which commandment or law is the greatest. Once again, Jesus gave a brilliant retort by cutting to the quick, to the gravamen or heart of the issue — which is that the greatest commandment of all is to love God “with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

Indeed, if we love God above all things, including our selves, we naturally would be true to the Mosaic Ten Commandments:

  1. We would worship no one (including ourselves) but God.
  2. We would not take the name of God in vain.
  3. We would keep holy the sabbath day.
  4. We would honor our [earthly] father and mother.
  5. We would not kill another human being.
  6. We would not commit adultery.
  7. We would not steal.
  8. We would not lie.
  9. We would not covet another’s spouse.
  10. We would not covet another’s goods.

We would observe all those commandments because the last thing we would want to do is to hurt — by offending — the Creator, whom we love with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole our mind, and with all our strength.

Think about it . . . .

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,


12 responses to “Sunday Devotional: The Greatest Commandment

  1. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on kommonsentsjane and commented:

    Reblogged on kommonsentsjane/blogkommonsents.

    Sunday Devotional.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dr.E, = I cannot THANK YOU enough for this series of Biblical Truths. This particular, “The Greatest Commandment” – I read & re-read.. And with each re-read – the Wisdom of God’s Word became more indelably set in Mind & Heart.. Thank You again Dr.E = as I am saving each of the series to a folder for future reads..

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
    and to God what belongs to God.”

    And whose image is stamped on us? We are made in the image of God. So we must give ourselves to the One whose image we bear.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TD . . . . . . “We are made in the image of God. So we must give ourselves to the ONE whose image we bear.” That comment is eternally paramount, sometimes we forget that we have been made in the very image of God.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Wow! I have read that verse hundreds of times and did not understand why Yeshua said what he did until I read your comment! Wow….. thanks

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dr Eowyn . . . That The Lord would instruct us thusly, to render until an earthly government what they wish of us (always trying to change that government if it becomes onerous,) and to remember that all else belongs to Our God. I have written this opposite of the order in which they need to be obeyed .. God first in allegiance, man made government second. It will be a wonderful day when Our God takes over governing and there will be not more governments of men, as we have seen as of late–man made governments seem to go astray far too easily.

    Excellent lesson for the Sabbath Day. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amen and Amen, Dr. Eowyn!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In addition to tax(es) paid to the occupying Romans, I think there was also a (religious) temple tax paid by Jewish worshippers coming for sacrifices, but IIRC it had to be paid in shekels–a different coinage from the Roman occupiers’ currency (and a perfect practical/dramatic reason for Jesus to call for someone to bring that Roman coin). [Side note: Changing from Roman coins to the temple shekel would have been the ‘business reason’ for those slick moneychangers that so angered Jesus to be on the Temple premises. As ever, “Follow the money….”]

    Liked by 1 person

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