The great commandment to love God (Lk 10:27-10:27)

“The lawyer answered.

‘You shall love

The Lord,

Your God,

With all your heart,

With all your soul,

With all your strength,

And with all your mind.”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Ἀγαπήσεις Κύριον τὸν Θεόν σου ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ψυχῇ σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ἰσχύϊ σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ διανοίᾳ σου,

 

Luke said that the lawyer answered Jesus (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν) by citing Deuteronomy, chapter 6:4-5, where it said that you were to love the Lord, your God (Ἀγαπήσεις Κύριον τὸν Θεόν σου), with all your heart (ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας σου), with all your soul (καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ψυχῇ σου), with all your strength (καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ἰσχύϊ σου), and with all your mind (καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ διανοίᾳ σου).  Mark, chapter 12:39-40, said that Jesus answered this Scribe, instead of the other way around as here in Luke.  The first commandment was “Hear this O Israel!  The Lord our God is one.  He should love the Lord, his God with his whole heart, his whole soul, his whole mind, and with all his strength.  This Shema cry for Israel to listen can be found in Deuteronomy, chapter 6:4-5.  These verses have had a great influence on the Israelites as the great commandment that was recited often and written all over the place on their hands, forehead, and door posts.  It was both a morning and an evening prayer, something you could say at home and when you were away from home.  The Israelites taught their children this simple prayer.  Jesus and the early Christian followers repeated this prayer in the gospel stories of the New Testament as the great commandment of love of God.  This “Shema” became the basis of the Abrahamic religions, the great commandment of monotheism and love that must always be remembered.  In Matthew, chapter 22:37-38, Jesus also responded, rather than the lawyer.  Jesus told this lawyer that he should love the Lord, his God with his whole heart, his whole soul, and his whole mind   This was the greatest and the first commandment.  Just be a good human Jewish person and love God above all else with your whole being, heart, soul, and mind.  Do you totally love God?

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Have hope (Prov 23:17-23:19)

“Do not let your heart envy sinners.

But always continue in the fear of Yahweh.

Surely there is a future.

Your hope will not be cut off.

Hear!

My child!

Be wise!

Direct your mind in the way.”

Do not be envious of sinners. You should continue with your fear of Yahweh all the time. There will be a future, so always have hope. Hear and be wise. Keep your mind on the right way, the straight path.

Be a good student (Prov 23:12-23:12)

“Apply your mind to instruction.

Apply your ear to the words of knowledge.”

This is simple enough. Be a good student! Pay attention! Put your mind on what your instructor says. Listen carefully with your ears to the words of knowledge that others are telling you.

The wise one speaks (Prov 22:17-22:19)

“The words of the wise

Incline your ear!

Hear my words!

Apply your mind to my teaching.

It will be pleasant,

If you keep them within you.

It will be pleasant,

If all of them are ready on your lips.

Your trust may be in Yahweh.

I have made them known to you today,

Yes,

To you.”

Now we suddenly switch backs to the words of the wise, rather than the Proverbs of Solomon. Who then is this wise one or wise ones? Some have speculated that these were the wise friends of Solomon. However, the style is reminiscent of the first few chapters in the prologue. The request is that you incline your ears and hear his words. The use of the singular might mean one individual. Quite frankly, we have to say that we do not know who this wise man is. However, you are asked to apply your mind to his teaching. This will go well, that is pleasant, if you keep his words within you, ready on your lips. Basically you must trust Yahweh. The wise man has made it known to you, explicitly you, today. So listen up!