What's Love Got to Do With It?
This week is one of those biblical stories that may be very familiar to you. To us, Jesus is simply echoing what we know in our heart of hearts – love God, love your neighbour. It seems so obvious! But it would not have been so to Jesus’ original hearers.
For the scribes and Pharisees (and thus for the people who were taught by them) the Law given by Moses from God was sacred. There were 61 laws in the Jewish Law but as scholars and rabbis interpreted these according to different times and circumstances, a huge body of oral tradition and oral law began to emerge. In Jesus’ days these unwritten community laws and traditions were beginning to be recorded. And the scribes and rabbis debated at some length about which of these were the most important. The Pharisees concluding that they all were; not one had precedence over another, as all came from God.
So what Jesus does is takes his hearers back to the first principles. To “love God” with heart, soul and mind, the fundamental creed of Judaism. Then directs them to the second command to “love our neighbour.”
What rigid laws or principles, what structures or attitudes need changing in society that people can better love God and love their neighbour?
And how might such changes in our society impact on our own lives?