Teachers, at least good teachers, get asked a lot of questions. Some they like. Questions that challenge, or demonstrate insight, or seek clarity or understanding. Others are not so pleasant. “Will this be on the test?” probably ranks among the least favorite, although the student who comes back after missing a day of school to ask, “Did we do anything yesterday?” is pretty annoying too.
Why did the man ask Jesus about which commandment was greatest? Why wouldn’t a scholar of the law already know the answer? Perhaps because the question was not really a question at all. It was an attempt to trip Jesus up by giving an answer that could get Jesus into trouble. But the result was an answer that makes it quite easy to develop a guide for Christian life. Love God. Love neighbor.