28 One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 The scribe said to Him, “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that He is One, and there is no one else besides Him; 33 and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.
Dear God, I was in mass yesterday and these verses were the Gospel reading. I noticed something for the first time in verses 30 and 33. Part of the commandment as stated in the Old Testament and by Jesus is to say that we should love you with all of our mind. The scribe, however, changes that word to “understanding.” I looked it up in a couple of translations, and the change is consistent. Frankly, this change helps me a little, and it should help each of us receive your grace as we work out our faith with fear and trembling.
To say that I love you will all my heart, strength and UNDERSTANDING is big difference. The word understanding, for me, implies that there is grace for my limited mind. As long as I am giving you all that I have in the understanding department, then I am fulfilling what the commandment meant when it said to love you with all of my mind.
Father, help me to understand you better, and reveal to me where my understanding is flawed. I am sure that there are parts of my theology that have been corrupted by thousands of years of errant teaching that has been handed down from one generation to the next—mostly innocently, I’m sure. Help me to break beyond that and to feel your presence with me as I evaluate any given situation and submit myself before you and your throne.