Matthew 22: 34-46
First, there were ten! Ten Commandments, that is. For a refresher course on what these are, you might turn to Exodus 20:1-17 or Deuteronomy 5:1-21. God gave these laws to Moses. Did you know that the Ten Commandments appeared in two places in the Holy Scriptures?
Then did you know that the Pharisees took these Ten Commandments and expounded them so that they exceeded six hundred. If you thought memorizing Ten Commandments was difficult, then just imagine what it would be like to be thoroughly familiar with over six hundred.
Then the prophet Micah took the six hundred, reclaimed the Ten Commandments and then reduced them to three. Micah wrote, “He (God) has told you, O mortal what is good and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) Wow! That’s even better than learning ten and when you think about it those three really cover all ten.
Once again, a Pharisee comes to trick Jesus and so he asks Him, “Teacher, what’s the greatest law?” He did not believe that Jesus could name one law as the greatest. Jesus looked at the Pharisee and smiled. Jesus said, “Love God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest of all the commandments. But there’s another really important one too. Love your neighbor as yourself. If you obey these two laws, then you obey all the laws.” Wow! That’s really easy to remember, but the hard part is keeping those commandments. Yet it is great to know that when we have kept those two then we have fulfilled the entire law … whether it numbers three, ten or over six hundred!!
O God, we thank You for the Ten Commandments and how these serve to structure our life with You and with all people. We thank You Jesus for concentrating those ten into two. When we fail, we ask You to forgive us. Keep us ever striving to love You with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, we pray. Amen.