3 Deuteronomy 6New International Version (NIV)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.
4 Shema YisraelSh'ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai EḥadHear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is OneThe literal word meanings are roughly as follows:Sh'ma — listen, or hear & doYisrael — Israel, in the sense of the people or congregation of IsraelAdonai — often translated as "LORD", it is read in place of YHWHEloheinu — the plural 1st person possessive of אֱלֹהִים Elohim, meaning “our God”.Eḥad — the cardinal number one
5 V'ahavtaThe following verses, commonly referred to by the first word of the verseimmediately following the Shema as the V'ahavta. W'ahav'ta meaning"And you shall love...", contain the commands to love God, with all one'sheart, soul, and might; then the verse goes on to remind you to rememberall commandments and "teach them diligently to your children and speakof them when you sit down and when you walk, when you lie down andwhen you rise" (Deut 6:7); to recite the words of God when retiring orrising; to bind those words "on thy arm and thy head" (classically Jewishoral tradition interprets as tefillin), and to inscribe them on the door-postsof your house and on your gates (referring to mezuzah).
7 Luke 10:27New International Version (NIV)27 He answered, “‘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.’”Matthew 22:36-40New International Version (NIV)36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”Mark 12:30New International Version (NIV)30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’John 13:34-35New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
8 The Greek word for new (kainos) here implies freshness rather than recent or different. It’s not that Jesus just invented this command, but that He presents it in a new and fresh way.So what’s so fresh about it? Whereas the Old Testament demanded that men should love their neighbors as themselves (Lev. 19:18), the New Commandment is that they should love their brothers better than themselves, and die for their friends. The command to love wasn’t new, but the extent of love displayed by Jesus was new. Love was newly defined by His example.
9 What do you think it means to love God with your heart, soul mind and strength? Why do you think Jesus was or needed to present a “new” challenge?