Summary: This is the second message in our Easter Series, and it asks a pertinent question; a question about our purpose. So, in our time together, I would like to look at the answer Jesus gave when questioned about the greatest commandment.
EASTER SERIES 2010
DO WE HAVE A CLEAR PURPOSE THIS EASTER?
Matthew 22:34-40 (NIV) 34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
PURPOSE: That we would embrace the greatest commandments as essential parts of our lives.
INTRODUCTION: This is the second message in our Easter Series, and it asks a pertinent question; a question about our purpose. So, in our time together, I would like to look at the answer Jesus gave when questioned about the greatest commandment.
I. JESUS DECLARES OUR PURPOSE – Matt. 23:34-37
A. People look for the wrong reasons
B. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day debated the importance of commandments for years.
1. Prestige is attached to being right
2. Loss of face is attached to being wrong
C. The answer Christ would give was not only right, but it was impressive
Mark 12:32-34 "Well said, teacher," the man replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." 34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
Mark 12:32-34 (MSG) 32 The religion scholar said, "A wonderful answer, Teacher! So lucid and accurate—that God is one and there is no other. 33 And loving him with all passion and intelligence and energy, and loving others as well as you love yourself. Why, that's better than all offerings and sacrifices put together!" 34 When Jesus realized how insightful he was, he said, "You're almost there, right on the border of God's kingdom." After that, no one else dared ask a question.
1. Given a honest look, Jesus will always impress
2. Given an honest look, Jesus will always draw men to Himself
THE QUESTION REMAINS, “HOW HONEST ARE WE IN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?
Do we rationalize our relationship in such a way as to avoid our responsibilities?
Honest evaluation reveals that Jesus is the answer and Jesus is the way!
Rationalized answers produce a tainted view of Jesus and my own responsibility before and to Him.
II. JESUS PRIORITIZES OUR PURPOSE – Matt. 23:37-39
Romans 13:10 (MSG) You can't go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.
A. Priority one in the Christian life is to love God
1. Love means to act intensely and be completely at rest
a. Love is a supreme act
b. Love is a supreme confidence.
2. We are to love God with all our heart
a. This means that our love for God is to be beyond comparison
b. Our love for God is to be an a class all by itself
3. We are to love God with all our soul.
a. This means that our love for God is to be greater than our love for ourselves
b. This is difficult because our old nature always want to influence us towards a selfish self love.
4. We are to love God with all our mind
a. This means that our love for God is to be expressed in our desire to know of Him, more about Him, and to have a deeper knowledge of Him
b. Just as we can only see the tip of the iceberg, without going below the surface of what we perceive about God can we really get to know him to the extent of our abilities.
B. Priority two in the Christian life is to love our neighbors as ourselves.
1. A true relationship with God involves a perfect love for God and others
2. We need Christ in order to love because without Him we cannot love perfectly.
a. Perfect love is beyond the reach of believers.
b. God sees our love for Him through the finished work of Christ
c. Jesus has laid down this rule to enable us to approach the level of love He would have us have for others
d. Loving our neighbor PROVES our love for God!
e. The connection between loving our neighbor as evidence of loving God CANNOT be overstated!