A teacher of the law had been listening to this discussion and admired how Jesus answered them.
So he came up and asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?”
Jesus answered, “The first is: Hear, Israel! The Lord, our God, is One Lord; and you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. And after this comes a second commandment: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no commandment greater than these two.”
The teacher of the law said to him, “Well spoken, Master; you are right when you say that he is one, and there is no other besides him.
To love him with all our heart, with all our understanding and with all our strength,
and to love our neighbor as ourselves is more important than any burnt offering or sacrifice.”
Jesus approved this answer and said, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.
The teacher of the law really wanted to know, and Jesus’ answer not only made him glad,
it revealed a kind of kinship between his thoughts and that of Jesus.
And the Gospel actually ends on a rather positive note: no one dared ask any more questions of Jesus.
It was as if this teacher, perhaps himself getting frustrated that Jesus was being asked insincere questions meant to trap,
decided to end it by asking a sincere one meant to highlight something they all could perhaps agree upon,
something that would show that Jesus’ thinking and teaching was, in fact, very much in line with how their great teachers and elders thought and taught.
This was obviously a good man, a good teacher of the law, and Jesus acknowledged that. Not everyone who appears to be an adversary is, in fact, one.
Sometimes we need to see beyond the surface appearance of persons and look at what lies behind; and when we do,
we more often than not discover that he or she isn’t too different from ourselves.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2020