Commandment #1
Up The Writers' Belief From their Acts Omnipotent? . . . Commandment #1 Paul's Belief What John Says Separate Beings

 

The Greatest Commandment in the Bible and the Qur'an

Some will say that this whole discussion over the divinity of Jesus is unnecessary.  The important thing, they say, is to accept Jesus as your personal saviour.  On the contrary, the Bible’s writers stressed that, in order to be saved, it is necessary to understand who exactly is God.

Failure to understand this would be to violate the first and greatest of all the commandments in the Bible.  This commandment was emphasized by Jesus, on whom be peace, when a teacher of the Law of Moses asked him as follows:

   “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Jesus replied:

   “The most important one is this: ‘Hear O Israel, Yahweh our God, Yahweh is one.  Love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark ch.12, vv.28-29).

Notice that Jesus was quoting the first commandment from the book of Deuteronomy, ch. 6, vv. 4-5.  Jesus confirmed not only that this commandment is still valid, but also that it is the most important of all the commandments.

If Jesus thought that he himself is God, why did he not say so?  Instead, he stressed that Yahweh alone is God.  The man who questioned Jesus understood this, and what the man says next makes it is clear that God is not Jesus, for he said to Jesus:

   “Well said, teacher, you are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him . . .” (v.32).

Now if Jesus was God, he could have told the man so.  Instead, he let the man refer to God as someone other than Jesus, and then he even confirmed that the man had spoken wisely (see v. 34).

If Jesus knew that God is a trinity, why did he not say so?  Why did he not say that God is one in three, or three in one? Instead, he declared that God is one — full stop.  True imitators of Jesus will imitate him also in this declaration of God’s oneness.  They will not add the word three where Jesus never said it.

Does salvation depend on this commandment?  Yes, says the Bible!  Jesus made this clear when another man approached Jesus to learn from him (see Mark ch. 10, vv. 17-29).  The man fell on his knees and said to Jesus:

   “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus replied:

   “Why do you call me good?  No one is good — except God alone.” (Mark ch. 12, v. 19).

By so saying, Jesus made a clear distinction between himself and God.  Then he proceeded with the answer to the man’s question about how to get salvation.  He said:  If you want to enter life, obey the commandments (Matthew ch. 19, v. 17, cf. Mark ch. 10, v. 19).

Remember that the most important of all the commandments, according to Jesus, is to know Yahweh as the only God.

Jesus further emphasized this in the Gospel According to John.  In ch. 17, v. 1, Jesus lifted his eyes to heaven and prayed, addressing God as Father.  Then in verse three, he said to the Father as follows:

    “And eternal life means knowing you, the only true God, and knowing Jesus Christ, whom you sent” (John 17:3).

This proves beyond doubt that if people are to get eternal life they must know that the one Jesus was praying to is the only true God, and they must know that Jesus was sent by the true God.

Some say that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.  But Jesus said that the Father alone is the only true God.  True followers of Jesus will follow him in this too.  Jesus had said that his true followers are those who hold to his teachings.  He said, “If you obey my teaching, you are really my disciples” (John 8:31).  His teaching is that people must continue to keep the commandments, especially the first commandment which emphasises that Yahweh alone is God,  and  that Yahweh should be loved with all our hearts and all our strengths.  We love Jesus, but we must not love him as God.  Today many love Jesus more than they love God.  This is because they see God as a vengeful person who wanted to exact a penalty from them, and they see Jesus as the Saviour who rescued them from the wrath of God.  Yet Yahweh is our only Saviour.  He said so Himself (see Isaiah 43:11; 45:21-22).

The Qur’an confirms the first commandment and addresses it to all humankind (see 2:163). And God declares that true believers love Him more than anyone else or anything else (2:165).