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Summary: A sermon for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost Jesus two commandments

23rd Sunday after Pentecost

Proper 25

Matthew 22:34-46

’How Simple Can It Be?"

34 ¶ But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came 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."

41 ¶ Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question,

42 saying, "What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?" They said to him, "The son of David."

43 He said to them, "How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,

44 ’The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under thy feet’?

45 If David thus calls him Lord, how is he his son?"

46 And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did any one dare to ask him any more questions.

Grace and Peace to you from Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

" A newcomer had come to school for the first time The children all stared. His skin was a different color than their skin, he was small for his age, and he had a club foot. But one girl, Heidi, quickly and easily made friends’ with this newcomer.

One day on the play ground, some of the children began to tease and make fun of this newcomer. Heidi came to his rescue by saying he was still’ his friend. And she proved her loyalty by playing with him. Still the teasing and name calling persisted. She told the other children ’to stop, and eventually, the kids got to pushing and shoving, and finally the teacher came to stop the fight. Heidi had stood alone in the fight defending, her new found friend

It was unlike Heidi to fight and because her clothes were torn, her teacher called her mom to come to school with clean clothes and to have a talk with Heidi about the fight. After Heidi was all cleaned up, she met with her teacher and mother. Heidi was asked to describe what had happened and why she did what she did. Her reply was simple. The newcomer, the little boy, was her friend. The others should not make fun of him.

"Jesus loves me," said Heidi, "And Jesus loves all the little children. I wanted the other boys and girls to love my friend and be kind to him like I am. He can’ t help it if his skin is a different color, if he is small and has a funny way of walking."

Heidi was an ordinary girl, but there was something very special about her, she was special because the grace of God had visited her, and she knew about God’s love so she could accept and love others, especially this little boy. Heidi was like most little children, but she was also different, different because she lived her faith, she lived the love that God has for her through Jesus Christ. Heidi felt good about herself, she felt she had self worth because of Jesus, so then she could love others with the love of Christ.

She fulfilled Jesus’ commandment in our gospel lesson this morning where Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and ’with all your mind. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. " Heidi knew that Jesus’ love didn’t just apply on Sunday, but it shaped her whole life everyday.

As Thomas Huxley once said, "It doesn’t take much of a man to be a Christian, but it takes all there is of him"

Yes, it takes our whole self to serve Jesus.

The Pharisees had come to Jesus to try an trick him again. Jesus had foiled a trick of the Sadducess about the resurrection and now the Pharisees are thinking they are more clever and sought to trick Jesus, themselves.

The Pharisees had made 613 laws to explain the 10 laws God had given Moses on Mount Sinai. Some of these laws had weights to them, meaning some laws meant more than others, some were more important than others. 365 of the laws were prohibitions and 248 were directions for living. Which were most important? This was what they were trying to trick Jesus into saying.

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