22:34-40 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. One of them, who was an expert in the Law, asked him a question as a test: “What commandment in the Law is greatest?” He said to him, “‘You must love the Lord your God with your whole heart, and your whole soul, and your whole mind.’ This is the great and the chief commandment; and the second is like it, ‘You must love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments the whole Law and the prophets depend.”
In Matthew this question looks like a return to the attack on the part of the Pharisees; but in Mark the atmosphere is different. As Mark tells the story (Mark 12:28-34) the scribe did not ask Jesus this question to trip him up. He asked it in gratitude that Jesus had confuted the Sadducees and to enable Jesus to demonstrate how well he could answer; and the passage ends with the scribe and Jesus very close to each other.
We may well say that here Jesus laid down the complete definition of religion.
(i) Religion consists in loving God. The verse which Jesus quotes is Deuteronomy 6:5. That verse was part of..
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William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible on Matthew 22