Over the past month in the lectionary we have heard about Jesus coming out on top of every argument with different groups of established religious leaders. Today’s reading ends with the statement that no one dared asked Jesus any more questions. Those in power realized this strategy would not work and that they must take more drastic measures to get rid of the man.
The question heard today comes from a member of the Pharisees who asked Jesus, which commandment in the law is the greatest? Jesus answered with words that observant Jews both then and now recite each morning and each evening as a part of the Shema. For Episcopalians who grew up with the 1928 Prayer Book, or now, who are familiar with rite I, Jesus answers with words that we also recognize and perhaps even know by memory.
The scripture is Deuteronomy 6: 5. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” That was the first part of Jesus answer to today’s question.