Summary: The silver thread running through Scripture is love.
Text: And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live” (Luke 10:28).
Who was Jesus talking to when He gave the response, “You have answered rightly…?” He was talking to a lawyer who was testing Jesus. The lawyer asked Jesus, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25)
Jesus knew the lawyer was an educated man and he already knew the answer to the question he was asking. Jesus also knew He was being tested; so He turned the question back to the lawyer who responded with the words, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind…” (Luke 10:27).
These words are found in the Old Testament in the Book of Deuteronomy. The lawyer knew the Scripture, yet he asked the question. These words, “you shall love the LORD your God,” spoken by the lawyer were words of love for the Lord. This type of love must be the kind that every man, woman, boy and girl should possesses.
This is how each of us should love our God. Every chamber in our heart should be filled with the love of God and with love for God. Our soul, our innermost being, should show a love that leaves us in a state of peace.
Every ounce of strength we have should be used to show God how much we love Him. Our mind should always be filled with love for the God who created us and died for us that we might have our sins forgiven so we can spend eternity with Him in His kingdom.
In our Scripture reading, Jesus was talking to the Pharisees. He had already put the Sadducees in their place. The Sadducees stuck tightly to the written law and did not accept the traditional thoughts and ideas the Pharisees believed in. Furthermore, the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the body. They did not believe in the angels and the spirits.
The Sadducees and the Pharisees were out to make Jesus look bad. They did not believe what He was teaching. They were trying to get the people geared to their way of thinking. Satan was working hard in the heart and mind of these Sadducees and Pharisees.
People were doing things contrary to the Word of God. The temple was being used like a store or place of business. “Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves” (Matthew 21:12).
There was so much commercial activity going on the temple that people coming to worship could not get in. These people were not only being crowded out of the temple, but the sacrificial animals being sold were being sold at inflated prices.
The moneychangers cheated the people, who traveled long distances to worship, because they did not understand the money exchange. The people who came to worship were terribly upset at what was going on in the temple. Jesus was so angry that He went into the temple with the idea of cleaning it out and bringing it back to a place of worship instead of a den for robbers and thieves.
“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’” (Matthew 22:34-36).
When the Pharisees asked this question, do you think they were interested in hearing Jesus express the truth? I do not believe so. The Pharisees already knew the question asked by the Sadducees and they knew how Jesus answered that question. So what was their purpose in asking this question? They were out to trick Jesus.
The Pharisees were educated people. If they had just listened and taken to heart what Jesus told them, their education could have been immensely expanded.
You and I have the same problem as the Pharisees in that we ask Almighty God questions, but we do not listen as He speaks to us. Satan was doing his best to defeat Jesus through the minds of the Pharisees at that time and he is doing the same thing to us today.
Satan works through each one of us trying to convince us that Jesus is not who He says He is. When we listen to Satan and do things contrary to God’s Word, we are testing Jesus just as did the Sadducees and the Pharisees.
The first and greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all our heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (v. 37). This Scripture places a great emphasis on love. Why is love so important? Love is important because God is love.