“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
The Law refers to the law of Moses. See entry for 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.’
(a) Love the Lord. Under the old law-keeping covenant, you were commanded to love the Lord your God with all your heart (Deut. 6:5, 10:12). The flow was from you to the Lord. But in the new covenant of grace, we love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). It is because we know the love of Christ (Eph. 3:19) that we are able to walk in his love (Eph. 5:2), keep ourselves in his love (Jude 1:21), and remain in his love (John 15:9, 10, 1 John 4:12, 16).
(b) The Lord your God. Most of the time when Jesus spoke about God, he called him Father (see entry for Luke 2:49). But when speaking to those under the law, he sometimes called him Lord and God.
(c) With all your soul. The original word for soul is psuche, from which we get the word psychology. This word is sometimes used in scripture to describe the soul-life we inherited from Adam, as opposed to the zoe- or spirit-life we receive from Jesus. See entry for New Life.
“This is the great and foremost commandment.
It is the first and greatest of the Ten Commandments, but it is not the law of Christ. (see entry for John 13:34).
“The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’
(a) Love your neighbor. This law, which comes from the law of Moses (Lev. 19:18), was quoted by Jesus more than once (Matt. 19:19, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27). James called it the royal law (see entry for Jas. 2:8).
(b) As yourself. “Loving others as yourself” can be contrasted with “Loving others as I have loved you” (see entry for John 13:34).
Under the old covenant, you provided the love and whatever else was needed to fulfil the law. But in the new covenant, we are able to love others because of the love we have from God (1 John 4:19). Under the old, you were the supply, but in the new, God supplies all our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Php. 4:19).
“On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
The Law refers to the Law of Moses, the commandments, ordinances, punishments, and ceremonial observances given to the nation of Israel through Moses (Jos. 8:31). This law is sometimes referred to as the law of commandments (Eph. 2:15) or the law of the Jews (Acts 25:8). See entry for The Law.
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