One of the teachers of religious law was in the temple, listening to the debate between Jesus and the Sadducees. Realizing that Jesus had answered them well, he asked, “Which is the most important of all the commandments?”
“The most important commandment,” said Jesus, “is this: The Lord our God is one and there is no other beside him: you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. And the second commandment is like it, and it is this: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There are no commandments greater than these.”
The teacher of religious law replied, “That’s a very good answer and you are right to say that God is one and there is no other beside him and no other. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, and with all your strength – and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than any amount of burnt offerings and sacrifices .”
When Jesus saw that the man answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
After that, no one dared to ask Jesus any more questions.
Later, as Jesus continued to teach in the temple, he asked, “Why do the teachers of religious law say that the Messiah is the son of David? For David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I put your enemies beneath your feet.’ If David himself calls the Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?”
And the large crowd listened to him with great delight.
Jesus told them: “Watch out for the teachers of religious law! They like to walk around in flowing robes and receive respectful greetings in the marketplaces. They take the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets. Yet they also cheat widows out of their property, and for a show make long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be punished most severely.”
Jesus sat down opposite the treasury in the temple and watched as the people put in their money in the collection box. Many rich people tossed in large amounts, but a poor widow came along and dropped in two small coins.
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others who are making contributions. For they all gave out of their wealth, but she, out of her poverty, has put in everything – all that she had to live on.”