But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:34-40
When we study the Old Testament, it can be overwhelming and sometimes difficult to decipher how this applies to us today. So what was the purpose of the Mosaic Law? What is the purpose of the Ten Commandments? We first need to understand that God’s Law, the Ten Commandments, is the nature of God. God is Holy and his nature is revealed through His Law. Our sinful nature is what separated us from God, and Christ has reconciled us back to the Father on the cross
Secondly, to understand what is sin, we need the Law of God. Jesus came to save sinners, but how do we know if we are a sinner? To understand our sinful nature we need to understand what is sin. The Bible says “ Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3:4) Sin is lawlessness, what is lawlessness? It’s the violation of God’s Law, its disobedience to God. The Bible also says “The Law of God is like a mirror, we should examine ourselves” (James 1:23) So when we look at God’s Law, the Ten Commandments, and compare it to our lives, we quickly realize we are all sinners and need the grace of Jesus Christ
The religious leaders, who claimed to be experts of God’s Law, again decided to challenge Jesus, by asking him “Which is the greatest commandment in The Law”? We have to remember the religious leaders of Israel kept adding to God’s Law, so at this point there was over 600 laws , so they believed this was another trick question to trap Jesus.
Jesus answered “You should Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, and mind,” This totally destroys the legalism of the religious leaders. Why? Because none of them truly loved God in their heart, they loved their religion, they loved their power, they loved their legalism, but they didn’t have the love of God inside of them. A new heart, as prophesied by Ezekiel (Ezek 36:26) is what separates the saints from the sinners, it’s what make us Born Again, then the Law will be written on our hearts. It all comes back to truly loving God, with all our heart, soul, and mind.
Then the second commandment is to Love Your Neighbor, these are a fulfillment of the entire Law of God. The religious leaders didn’t do either of these, they didn’t love God and they didn’t love their neighbor, therefore their religion was worthless. Jesus simplified the Mosaic Law of 600 commandments to just two “Love God and Love your Neighbor” however the religious leaders were unable to fulfill this, why? Because they didn’t have a New Heart, they were not Born Again through Christ
We can go down many theological rabbit holes of what is God’s Law or how can we keep God’s Law, but remember this, Jesus Christ said “Love God and Love Your Neighbor”, you don’t have to have a PHD in theology to understand that, all you need to do is repent of your sins and submit to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savoir, Jesus paid it all on the cross, Amen!