Welcome to this study! We will focus on Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees regarding the greatest commandment – and how it applies to our lives today.
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matt 22:34-40 (ESV)
(When Jesus said the Law and the Prophets, He was referring to what we know as the Old Testament).
These two commands seem simple, but with our sin nature, they are impossible to follow. Love God with everything – our heart, our soul and our mind? We recently learned what it takes to walk the talk, and we know that it’s impossible without the Spirit of God living in us. Love my neighbor? Do you think Jesus meant your literal neighbor, or was He also talking about your family, your co-workers, your small group members?
And was Jesus’ intention to abolish the law that the Jews had lived under for all those years?
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matt 5:17-20 (ESV)
So, what was Jesus saying? How could two commands sum up all of the Law and the Prophets? That’s what this study is about! In previous studies we’ve learned how to pray, forgive, and walk the talk – now it’s time to see all we’ve learned put into action.
On Wednesday we will see what Paul says about the law and our Christian faith. Until then, if you have prayer requests , questions or comments, feel free to email me or leave a comment at the end of this post!
Remember to stop by my other blog – readthroughthebiblechallenge.blogspot.com – to keep up with the church challenge of reading the Bible in one year.
See you Wednesday.