The two greatest commandments weren’t in The Ten

…our Lord was asked, “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the law?”

Jesus chose none of the Ten Commandments (in Ex. 20 and Deut.5) as the greatest; he…specified Deuteronomy 6:5 – “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” The second greatest commandment, according to Jesus, is Leviticus 19:18 – “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” He went on to say, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 22:34-40), i.e., all the ethical demands of the Old Testament can be summed up in those.

Christ’s answer reveals that he regarded “the law” as including Deuteronomy and Leviticus; he did not see it as a reference to only the Ten Commandments. And, according to our Lord, the two greatest commandments are found outside of the Ten Commandments.

My two cents

Torah inside of the former Glockengasse Synago...
Torah inside of the former Glockengasse Synagogue in Cologne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wow, I hadn’t quite realised that until someone explained it like this. Too many times I hear of Christians who accept the Ten Commandments, and that’s enough to obey, so they can ditch big chunks of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. According to Jesus, that’s off the mark.

I think there are several nominal Christians who assume that the Ten Commandments must be the most important. I think a more accurate take is that the Ten Commandments summarise the rest the law—including the most important two commandments from our Lord.

Quote source

Warner, T. (n.d). Confessions of a Former Sabbath Keeper. Available: Last accessed 1st Feb 2013.


One thought on “The two greatest commandments weren’t in The Ten

  1. I agree that the He regarded more than just the Ten as being applicable.

    I see His “two greatest” as covering all of the ten. They are not outside the ten, IMO, rather, – see the ten as expounding the two, and “the law and prophets” as the application of the ten. This is how all the law and prrophets “hang” on those two.

    At any rate, I agree that it is off the mark to blow off the law. The law is the ten -and the two- applied.

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