The Greatest Commandment
(reduced to its core)
How does the "Law and the Prophets" hang on these two commandments?
When Jesus said this, He was quoting the Old Testament. The Bible makes it clear that if you do not trust God then you do not love Him, that your faith is evidence of a relationship with Him. So, when we break the second commandment, we break the first. In like manner, when we break any of the commands for relating to our neighbor such as, "do not steal", "do not murder", "do not commit adultery" we break the second in addition to the first. This is how "all the Law and Prophets" hang on these commands.
Why do we use the word "others" instead of neighbors?
In Matthew 5:44 and Luke 10:25-37 Jesus explains that we are to love even our enemies, those that don't like us or mistreat us. So, the standard is to love others as yourself, regardless. Whether they love you or not, their well being is as important to you as your own.
How can someone live up to this standard?
You can see how it is impossible to live up to a standard where if you are selfish or hurtful to others (even enemies) at all, you do not love God. And, if you do not love God you do not have a relationship with Him. The Bible tells us that the purpose of the Law, was to show us our impossible situation. But God, made a right relationship with Him possible through the work of His Son Jesus Christ.
How did Jesus make a relationship with God possible?
He lived up to the standard perfectly. Jesus took our punishment for rejecting God's sovereignty, when He was crucified. Now when we trust in Jesus, His righteousness is accounted to us.
Why do you still desire to live up these commandments if Jesus has done the work for you?
Obeying God demonstrates that we do love Him. We want to please Him as a Father, not appease Him as a taskmaster.
like the first
the first and great commandment (Deuteronomy 6:4)