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The True Meaning of the Law Is Love

The True Meaning of the Law Is Love

Today, a Pharisee tries to test Jesus.  Even though he was a legal scholar, his question reveals a stunning ignorance.  How?

Gospel (Read Mt 22:34-40)

Jesus stirred up animosity against Himself among religious leaders by teaching several pointed parables about the kingdom of Heaven.  In our reading today, a Pharisee, “a scholar of the law,” tested Him by asking, “Teacher, which commandment of the law is greatest?”  What prompted this question?  Legal scholars in Jesus’ day spent all their time poring over the Law of Moses and rendering judgment on its meaning.  However, for a man whose vocation was God’s Law, this question shows that something had gone terribly wrong.  He clearly expected Jesus to pick His “pet” commandment, but in doing so, there would be many arguments from those who had chosen other commandments as being most important.  No doubt a good legal case could be made for all the various laws (a total of about 612 in the Pharisees’ count), so by choosing one, Jesus would set the stage for rebuttal, confrontation, and legalistic wrangling.  What was wrong with the question?

The first clue to the problem comes from Jesus.  Notice that in answering the test question, Jesus makes…

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