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The Two Greatest Commandments

Matthew 22:34-40  But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.  (35) Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying,  (36)  "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"  (37)  Jesus said to him, 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'  (38)  This is the first and great commandment.  (39)  And the second is like it: 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'  (40)  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." (NKJV)


Mark 12:28-34  Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, "Which is the first commandment of all?"  (29)  Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'HEAR, O ISRAEL, THE LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE.  (30)  AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.' This is the first commandment.  (31)  And the second, like it, is this: 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these."  (32)  So the scribe said to Him, "Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He.  (33)  And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."  (34)  Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." But after that no one dared question Him. (NKJV)


Mark goes into more detail than Matthew does. Nevertheless, both are important to look at.


The Lord God is One: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.


One meaning "One of a Kind": The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.


Now, God first loved us and we in turn loved Him.


1Jn 4:19  We love Him because He first loved us. (NKJV)


If you look at the Greek root words, you will see their meaning in context as you read both passages.


1. Love (G25) To love in a moral sense (Strong's). To love dearly (Thayer's). To esteem, love, indicating a direction of the will and finding one's joy in something or someone. (Word Study)


2. Heart (G2588) Denotes the centre of all physical and spiritual life (Thayer's).


3. Soul (G5590) The seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions (our heart, soul etc.) (Thayer's).


4. Mind (G1271) Deep thought, imagination, mind, understanding (Strong's). The mind as a faculty of understanding, feeling, desiring (Thayer's).


5. Strength (G2479) Forcefulness, ability, might, power (Strong's). Ability, force, strength, might (Thayer's).


I love how Mark's passage mentions loving God with our entire understanding.


6. Understanding: (G4920) to comprehend, reason out. The word denotes the ability to understand concepts and see relationships between them. (Word)


The key points to take away from the passage is how to love God, love yourself, and love others.


I personally think it implies respecting others with their heart, soul, mind, and strength.


We love others with our words and our actions.


Sources


1. Strong's Hebrew and Greek Definitions.


2. Thayer's Greek Definitions.


3. The Complete Word Study Dictionary.


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