The 2 greatest commandments in the law are NOT the commandments of Jesus.

Many people, including myself at one point, incorrectly think that the commands that Jesus gave as the New commandment are to love God with all your heart, mind, body and soul and to love your neighbour as yourself.

Those who claim we are under the law often use this to state that the commandments of Jesus were only a summary of the Law given through Moses. 



They will also claim, correctly,  that both these commands are found in the Old Covenant law and so are not in fact new at all.

Deuteronomy 6-5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Leviticus 19-18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.



However when we look at this in more detail what we will see is that these are not the commands of Jesus at all. Jesus never gave these two as  commands. This is actually an incorrect understanding of what Jesus taught and what Jesus himself stated were the New command that he gave.

Jesus did indeed say that the 2 greatest commandments in the law are to love God and to love your neighbour.

Matthew 22- 37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 

But these are not the new command that Jesus gave.

The new commandment is to love one another as he loved (us) 

John 13-34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Again Jesus reiterates that command that he gave 

John 15-12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

John 15-17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

The 2 commands of the law that Jesus states as being the greatest commands in the law are simply not the New command that Jesus gave.



What we see is that Jesus when he made reference to these 2 commandments was actually answering a question posed of him. 

Matthew 22-36  Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Notice Jesus was not asked which is the greatest of the commandments but the greatest commandment in the law.

These 2 commandments are in fact not part of the 10 commandments but as we saw they are included in the law.

The reference to these 2 commandments was not in fact then Jesus giving them as his new command but a response to the question regarding the greatest commandment in the law. The law of the Old covenant that the Jews at the time of Jesus and Jesus himself, seeing he was a Jew living in Israel in the first covenant, were under.

Jesus simply gave the correct answer to the question that was asked. They are the greatest commands in the Old covenant law.

These 2 commands actually incorporate the law and in essence are what the law was supposed to lead people to doing. Loving God and loving our neighbour.  The whole law hung on these 2 commands. 

If you have read my writing on keeping the commandments of Jesus you will know that in the new covenant God has 2 commands.

1) Believe in his son, Jesus
2) Love others as Jesus commanded.

Now when we understand that the law was a shadow we can see these 2 greatest commands in the commandments of the New covenant 

When we follow these 2 commandments we love God

1John 5-3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

This is the believers love of God or love for God the Greek γάρ Gar meaning for.

So to love God we keep his commandments. The commandments of God in the new covenant are to believe in his son Jesus and to love one another as Jesus gave us command to do.