October 25, 2021 – Monday
Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV
5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Most of us are familiar with this verse as it is part of the answer given to a question. Twice the question was asked of Jesus and once Jesus asked the question. What was the question? In Matthew 22:36 it was, Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? The teacher being addressed was Jesus and the person asking was a Pharisee who was an expert in the law. In Mark 12:28 we read, One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” And in Luke10:25-26, a different question was put to Jesus which He answered with the question we have in mind, On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
Before getting into the answers given in the synoptic Gospels, let’s look a little more at the context of the original verse. It was in chapter five of Deuteronomy the Ten Commandments from God were presented by Moses. Then is chapter six we have verses 4-9 where Moses said, 4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Clearly God was serious about this command to Love the Lord your God and Moses wanted them to understand how important this was.
So, in Deuteronomy 6:5 the command is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength; i.e. in three ways, 1) with all your heart, 2) with all your soul, and 3) with all your strength. Now, let’s see how the answers in the synoptic Gospels compare. In Matthew 22:37 Jesus answered, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. He left with off with all your strength and added with all your mind. Then He also commented in verses 38-39, This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The second came directly from Leviticus 19:18, Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
Mark records a different and more complete answer in 12:29-31, “The most important one is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:4 along with 6:5 and then adds Leviticus 19:18. Additionally, He also adds with all your mind as Matthew did. What about in Luke? How did the expert in the law answer? He answered in 10:27, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind]; and, Love your neighbor as yourself. He also added with all your mind and quoted Leviticus 19:18 as well.
There is little to no explanation on how with all your mind came to be added to Deuteronomy 6:5. ‘Mind’ is from the Greek 1271 (Strong’s) dianoia meaning deep thought, imagination, mind, understanding. Vines adds. “mind,” denotes, speaking generally, the seat of reflective consciousness, comprising the faculties of perception and understanding, and those of feeling, judging and determining. Nothing wrong in either definition, but there is still no explanation of how it came to be added? Perhaps it boils down to the Greek influence of ‘thinking’ versus feeling or along with feeling. Jesus would want us to use our ability to think to obey and love God with all our mind.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am grateful Jesus saw it was necessary to also love the Lord our God with all of our mind as well as our heart, soul, and strength. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek