The Greatest Commandments

Many times I hear Christians saying that the two greatest commandments that Jesus gave replaces the ten commandments of the Old Testament. Is this true? In a word, no! Because Jesus was merely summing up the ten commandments, not replacing them. It's so clear when you study the New Testament, that Jesus exalted the ten commandments and gave new meaning to them. He did not do away with them and replace them with "another law".

Matthew 22:37-40 ...'Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.'

Did you know that Jesus above is quoting from the Old Testament? And that these same words were given to Israel right after the law was given? ... Deuteronomy 6:5 ...'And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.' ... So tell me this. If Jesus was replacing the ten commandments with the two greatest commandments, then how come we also find the greatest commandment in the Old Testament, right after the law was given? The truth is, Jesus was showing us the CONTINUATION of God's moral law found in the Old Testament and summing it up as a LAW OF LOVE, not replacing it. Of course we are talking about the moral law here, not the ceremonial laws which Christ did away with at the cross (Colossians 2:14).

The Pharisees were very meticulous about keeping the laws of God, ALL 613 of them. But the problem was, they lost sight of the true meaning of their relationship with God, which was love. They completely lost sight of loving God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength, and the law just became this "thing they had to do" in order to be saved. Hence why they were very legalistic. Without that love for God, the external observance of God's Commandments becomes worthless legalism. THIS IS WHAT JESUS WHAT TEACHING THEM.

There must first be love in the heart before a person can, in the strength and by the grace of Christ, begin to keep the precepts of God's law. Obedience without love is worthless, which is exactly what the Pharisees practiced. But where love is present, a person will automatically set out to order his life in harmony with the will of God as expressed in His commandments (John 14:15; 15:10).

Obedience does not lead to love, but love DOES lead to obedience.

By saying "Love the Lord with all thy heart, soul and mind", Christ is revealing that the love of God, if truly present in us, will permeate every aspect of our being.

Hang the Law on These Two Commandments

Now many Christians love to quote the verse where Jesus says "on these two commandments hang the law and prophets" to suggest that the law is now "hung" upon the cross and has been done away with. Sure, the ceremonial laws which needed the earthly priestly service was hung upon the cross and is done away with in Christ, but not the ten commandments. By saying "the law and the prophets", Jesus is talking about the Old Testament, and by saying "hang them on the two greatest commandments", He is merely summing up the Old Testament and God's will for us as LOVE GOD SUPREMELY, and LOVE EACH OTHER.

God is not saying that ALL the laws are now hung on the cross and abolished. And the fact that Jesus also said "prophets" proves that he was not doing away with the ten commandments, because we STILL NEED THE PROPHETS TO INTERPRET END TIME EVENTS. So how could the prophets be hung on the cross and done away with? It's impossible! The same goes with the ten commandments, which is summed up by saying the first four are to do with loving God and the last six are to do with loving each other.

Jesus didn't say hang the law and prophets on the cross. He said hang them on these two greatest commandments. In other words, if we are truly keeping these two commandments, then we will keep the ten commandments and what the prophets said.

We've already shown that Jesus was quoting from Deuteronomy 6:5 when quoting the greatest commandments. And Deuteronomy is right after the second reading of the ten commandments. So did all the law hang upon the greatest commandments in the Old Testament? Of course it did! What Moses was saying back then, and what Jesus said in the New Testament is if we love God supremely and love each other as ourselves, then we will keep all Ten Commandments. THIS INCLUDES THE SABBATH COMMANDMENT that the majority of Christians have rejected. See HERE.

Two Greatest Commandments Replace the Ten?

So does loving the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength END any of the ten commandments? No of course not. This teaching that the ten commandments have been done away with or replaced is from Satan. And the reason Satan fell is because pride arose in his heart and he rebelled against the law of God. And he is making every effort to convince us that it is ok to rebel against God's great moral law contained in the ten commandments. Which is why he has put many of his own "theologians" in place to discredit God's law and replace it with a "wishy washy" love that doesn't produce good works or obedience to God.

Take a look at what Paul says about the commandments to do with loving each other.

Romans 13:9-10 ...'For this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, you shall love your neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.'

Do you see? Paul is SUMMING UP the 6 commandments to do with loving your neighbor into one command. But does this replace and do away with those 6 commandments? Of course not. Paul is just summing them up and showing that they are commandments of love. And that is exactly what Jesus was doing with the two greatest commandments.

The two greatest commandments in no way do away with the ten commandments written by God's own finger on the stone tablets. Those ten commandments of love (first four about loving God, and the last six about loving your neighbor) still stand today, including the 4th commandment to do with the sabbath day. See this site for the truth about the sabbath day.

So in summary, if you truly love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul, then you will be fulfilling (keeping) the first four of the ten commandments, and if you truly love your neighbor as yourself, then you will be fulfilling (keeping) the last six of the ten commandments. This is the Bible truth about the two greatest commandments.