Summary: Hoe important is your relationship with the Lord? how important is it for others to know God.
Almost in the Kingdom
Good Morning Church
If you would turn to Mark 12:28-34
This is a continuance of last week’s message in the thread that we have to love God and desire for others to know him. Coming to the table of God and enjoying the rich blessing of knowing God and God knowing you.
How important is your relationship with God and how important is it for you that others know God?
We are again looking at Jesus dealing with Pharisees and religious people.
Religious people were always putting rules in front of relationship.
They believed that you could never know God and God could never know you in a personal relationship.
The Pharisees saw themselves above the law and above other people.
As they elevated themselves, they tore others down. (Many people today believe for them to be elevated, they must tear others down.)
They had no need for a savior. The fact that Jesus kept teaching the teachers was an insult to them.
The thought of Jesus being their savior is what drove them to put him on a cross.
The text this morning is for all of us who honestly want to ask Jesus questions so that we can better navigate our lives and understand the word of God.
Not all the Pharisees hated Jesus because I believe this one was diligently searching and seeking for answers from Jesus.
Let me give you the quick version of what is happening and then we will dissect it in a way that we can gain some truths from Jesus words back to the Pharisee.
There is an unknown Pharisee that comes across Jesus in a debate with other Pharisees.
Jesus was evidently at least in the mind of the Pharisee holding his own with the Pharisees and he decides to ask him a question.
“Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” (Understand that he not only meant the Ten Commandments, he meant also the 613 added commandments by the Pharisees.)
The answer Jesus gives helps us understand putting God first in our lives.
These same things work today!
The Pharisees treated Jesus like he was a contestant on the game show Jeopardy. I give you a category and you see if you can answer the question correctly!
There is a big gulf between religious people and those in a relationship with Jesus.
Nowhere does Jesus tell us or show us that we are to be more religious.
Religion without relationship is what James calls dead and worthless.
We cannot tame our tongue-worthless religion.
We do not put our faith and our religion into practice…it is a worthless act of rule keeping that only ends with disappointment because we are not able to do it.
James says-“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith, but has no deeds? Can such a faith save him?
“You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.”
Of all the commandments, which is the most important? Thats the question here and the question of the ages.
Jesus answer-“Love God and love others”- Jesus quotes from the Book of Deuteronomy 6:4-9
“Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”
This verse and Book of Numbers 15:37-41 were part of the Shema- The reciting of verses two times a day in the temple and was a part of every devout Jews daily life. It was usually done as a chant and with their hands covering over their eyes out of respect and reverence for God.
So if you are just going to recite verses and not know him in a personal relationship you will never be able to Love God in the way that you are to love God.
If you do not love God the way He is to be loved there is no way that you would be able to love others like God would have you love them.
Charles Spurgeon over 140 years ago preached a sermon “The secret of loving God” His text was one verse- 1 John 4:19- “We love because He first loved us”
We can never love God the way that we are suppose too without God showing us and helping us to love him like that. (Repeat)