instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Ten Commandments Aren't Multiple Choice

I may have seen it pointed out before, but notice the commandments Jesus mentions to the rich young man, who affirms that he has observed them from his youth: You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; you shall not defraud (Mark only); you shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew only).

Notice the ones missing?

Yes, numbers nine and ten, too, but I'm thinking in particular of the first three, which can be summed up as, "You shall love the LORD, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength."

Surely to get rid of everything that prevents you from following Christ is to love the LORD, your God.

Can we then read this passage as signifying a dialog between a Christian and Christ, in which the Christian asks if his love of neighbor is sufficient, and Christ calls him to a more perfect love of God? A reminder, perhaps, that we mustn't spend so much effort keeping the practical commandments that we overlook the impractical ones?