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Summary: Jesus used to word to try to get folks to place their focus on what was important to God so that they would do what God called them to do for the right reasons!

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INTRODUCTION

• SLIDE #1

• Imagine that you have lived your whole life with a particular worldview, then one person comes along and lets you know that your worldview is built upon a false premise?

• Today we are continuing our Diving Deep in the Word with Jesus.

• In Matthew 22, the chapter we will be looking at today, Jesus will be confronted first by the Sadducees with a question concerning the resurrection that was designed to trap Jesus.

• Well, Jesus turned the tables on them with His answer, so next up is a question from the one of the Scribes, who was an expert in the Law of Moses.

• From the parallel passage in Mark 12:28-ff, it appears that the Scribe’s question was a sincere question.

• The religious leaders were no fans of Jesus. They saw Jesus as a threat because He was shaking things up, He was working on getting people to understand the real focus that God wanted them to have in life.

• Whenever something or someone comes along that challenges one's current worldview, it can be unnerving, to say the least.

• One of the things that we need to grasp is the real place we are called to place our focus.

• In the days of Jesus, many of God's chosen people were placing their focus on things that caused them to miss the real point of God and faith.

• The religious leader were masters of the minutia, time and time again throughout the ministry of Jesus, they were angry at Him for violating one of the 613 commandments the rabbinic authorities had established to HELP the people keep the Law of Moses.

• By the way, of those 613 commandments, 365 were negative, and only 248 were positive in nature. That should tell you something.

• Yet today, Christians can fall into the trap of missing what is essential. We can easily place our focus on things that are not the main thing.

• We too can get so trapped in the “RULES” we make up for people to follow that we miss the main thing that God wants us to place our focus.

• When we become more zealous for keeping rules than we are focusing on the main point, our rule keeping really does not mean much because we are missing the main point.

• Please do not misunderstand what I am saying, OBEDIENCE to God is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT; however, obedience with the wrong focus misses the point.

• When I am OBEDIENT, but I am doing so with the wrong focus, I can become self-righteous instead of humbly serving the Lord. I can begin to look down on people instead of seeing them as God sees them.

• I will see people as my enemy instead of someone who God loves who needs salvation.

• Jesus used the Word to do many things, we should do the same. Today Jesus is going to use the Word in an attempt to get people to focus on LOVE!

• Let’s turn to Matthew 22:34-36

• SLIDE #2

Matthew 22:34–36 (CSB) — 34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. 35 And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test him: 36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?”

• SLIDE #3

SERMON

I. The question. 34-36

• As I said in the introduction, the Sadducees tried to trap Jesus with a question, and when the Pharisees heard about this, they were probably overjoyed, and so they thought maybe they could outsmart Jesus.

• So, one of the scribes approaches Jesus with a question.

• This scribe was an expert in the Law of Moses.

• Here is the question, and the question is a pretty good question.

• I also alluded to in the introduction, the religious leaders took the Ten Commandments and turned them into 613 commandments, of which 365 were negative in nature, and only 248 were positive in nature.

• On top of that, the rabbis differentiated between LIGHT and HEAVY commandments.

• So, given that background, one can see why the question was asked.

• We do the same thing at times. We kind of try to put God’s commands on a weight chart. We try to see what we think God will not care about and what He would care about.

• The question is found in verse 36.

• 36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?”

• The religious leaders discussed the relative weight of the laws.

• This question reveals the ignorance of the nature of God and His Word. They were kind of looking for loopholes.

• SLIDE #4

Psalm 119:151 (NET) — 151 You are near, O LORD, and all your commands are reliable.

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