28 One of the scribes who studied and copied the Hebrew Scriptures overheard this conversation and was impressed by the way Jesus had answered.
Scribe: Tell me, Teacher. What is the most important thing that God commands in the law?
Jesus:29 The most important commandment is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Eternal One is our God, and the Eternal One is the only God. 30 You should love the Eternal, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”[a]31 The second great commandment is this: “Love others in the same way you love yourself.”[b] There are no commandments more important than these.
Although Jesus is asked for only the single most important commandment, He answers by naming two commands: love God and love others. He includes both because these two teachings can never be really separated from each other. Some people think they can love God and ignore the people around them, but Jesus frequently makes it clear that loving God apart from loving His people is impossible.
Scribe:32 Teacher, You have spoken the truth. For there is one God and only one God, 33 and to love God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves are more important than any burnt offering or sacrifice we could ever give.
34 Jesus heard that the man had spoken with wisdom.
Jesus:Well said; if you understand that, then the kingdom of God is closer than you think.
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