Matthew 22:37 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 22:37, NIV: Jesus replied: ''Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'

Matthew 22:37, ESV: And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Matthew 22:37, KJV: 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.

Matthew 22:37, NASB: And He said to him, '?‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’

Matthew 22:37, NLT: Jesus replied, ''You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.'

Matthew 22:37, CSB: He said to him, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

What does Matthew 22:37 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

It's common to read through these exchanges between Jesus and the religious leaders and focus on the conflict and tension. We see Jesus' brilliant answers to the difficult questions meant to trip Him up. It's helpful, though, to stop and think for a moment about what is happening on another level. They don't know it, but Israel's religious leaders are asking these hard questions of the very Son of God. They are taking some of the most troubling issues of the day and getting a response straight from their Creator. Jesus was not simply good at answering questions about the law; He was there when the law was given!

The lawyer who asked Jesus which is the primary commandment in the law may have been trying to trip Jesus up. He certainly doesn't realize he is asking the Son of God the question he might very well have chosen to ask God the Father, given the chance. It's a powerful moment, especially for these men who had made understanding and teaching the law their entire life's work.

For us, and for the exact same reason, Jesus' answer carries an enormous opportunity. This answer is not merely the wise response of a human interpreter. His is not just another opinion among the debates of religious leaders. Jesus' answer reveals the heart of God in giving the Law of Moses to His people Israel.

Jesus doesn't hesitate to answer this question, either. He doesn't respond with a counter-question or tell a parable or ask for object to use for illustration. Jesus answers directly from Deuteronomy 6:5. The great and first commandment in all of Scripture is to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind.

God wants His people first and above all to love Him with every part of their being. The heart and soul and mind may describe the centers of emotion, action, and thought. The point of the command is not to separate them, though, but to join them together with every aspect of a person fully committed to loving God. A pure, uninterrupted commitment to God and His will is the very basis of a proper relationship with Him.