As modern Christians, we sometimes have difficulty seeing the Jewishness of Jesus, but today’s gospel reading provides a good example:
One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him,
“You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
The following is a quote from R.T. France’s commentary on the Gospel of Matthew:
The famous summary of the law by R. (Rabbi) Hillel (b. Sabb. 31a) provides an instructive parallel. Challenged by a Gentile to “teach me the whole Torah while I am standing on one leg” (a challenge curtly refused by Hillel’s rival Shammai), Hillel reputedly replied: “Do not do to your neighbor what is hateful to you. This is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary.”