If you asked me what trespass by children towards their parents is worse than all others, I would answer “dishonesty”. It’s another way of saying Hazel and I valued truthfulness. Years ago, a brother challenged me on that assertion. I was raising my five children. He had raised his, and let’s just say I wasn’t looking to his example to emulate. Anyway, he challenged me on my assertion that honesty is more important than the others. All trespasses are the same, he insisted. My reasoning, right or wrong, was that it is better to have truthfulness with shortcomings rather than “perfection” with no truth. See, without truth, how can you know there is ‘perfection’? But every relationship must be based on truthfulness. I could deal with an honest child who made mistakes. But how do you deal with dishonesty? It makes all of the child’s actions, words, and motives to be suspect. Honesty must be tackled to gain ground elsewhere. So I concluded that my children got twice the punishment if they lied because truth is the foundation. If there’s no foundation, there’s no trust. And when there is no trust, you can’t believe anything about the child.
In Matthew 22, the Pharisees and Lawyers decided to take their turn with trying to trip Jesus up. They were looking for Him to make a major faux pas which they could use to crucify Him with. They asked, “which commandment is the great commandment?” It’s almost certain this was not a sincere question. They had hopes Jesus would answer wrongly.
If they could trap Jesus into saying one commandment was most important, they could accuse him of diminishing other vital parts of the Law of Moses. They might then say something like, “Jesus said these other commandments were not great.”
I’m not sure the lawyers were ever that concerned about truth for such to be their motive. We have seen, in fact, that they would invalidate the Law of Moses for the sake of their traditions, Mt 15:But maybe, just maybe, Jesus confirmed the validity of my own point – which is that something like LOVE is foundational, upon which everything else depends.
When you are dealing with people who don’t LOVE and don’t value TRUTH and HONESTY, you fall must fall back on esoteric arguments about which law or which work is greater than others. Bless you. Dan