Summary: Part 2 of the series introducing our mission and vision to the church-
Mt. 22:34-40-A Passionate People
Intro: Review Mission & vision
A community of believers committed to Christ’s Call
Love God, Love Others
Impact our Commuity through relevant ministry
Family of God-minister to the entire family of God
Every member a minister
Groups-small group ministry
Always changing-not for change sake, but always seeking to minister in the best and most effective ways possible
Talk to God
Open w/ prayer
Confrontation w/ religious leaders of the day.
-“What is the greatest commandment?” Once again hoping to trap him.
X came back with an answer that stopped them cold.
Summed up the whole of the law by quoting 2 passages that would have been familiar to all Jews. Verses that they would have memorized when they were kids verses that they all said every day.
Started w/ Love God
quoting from Deut. 6:4-5 “you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” this is the first and greatest commandment”. The Jews knew this passage because it is the first paragraph of what the Jews refer to as the Shema.
The Shema, is the basic confession of faith for Jews, their pledge of allegiance to God.
The word Shema comes from the Hebrew word which means “to hear” & the confession of faith begins with, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is Our God, the Lord alone.”
Rabbi Shraga Simmons wrote regarding the Shema “It is said upon arising in the morning and upon going to sleep at night. It is said when praising God and when beseeching Him. It is the first prayer that a Jewish child is taught to say. It is the last words a Jew says prior to death….We recite Shema when preparing to read the Torah on Sabbaths and festivals and we recite Shema at the end of the holiest day of Yom Kippur.”
It is a daily reminder that there was only one God, and they were to serve Him alone.
X quoting this passage says that The greatest commandment is to love God with all that we are and have—heart, soul, mind, strength, emotions, life, possessions, service,
We are to Love God with our whole being.
Clip to help us understand.
Mr. Holland’s Opus clip-2:07 “I could teach you notes on a page, I can’t teach you that other stuff.”
That’s what loving God is, it’s not about “playing the notes on a page”.
The rel. leaders that X was talking to could all read the “notes on a page.”
They had gone so far as to document 613 commandments in the Law, 248 positive and 365 negative. And because they know that no person could ever hope to know and fully obey all of these commandments they had tried to make it easier, by dividing the commandments into “heavy” (important) and “light” (unimportant). A person could major on the “heavy commandments” and not worry about the trivial ones. It was all about “playing the note’s on the page” doing the right thing’s so God won’t get mad.
That is not loving God, that’s religion & X didn’t die to establish a religion, He died so we could have a relationship w/ God. and our response in that relationship is to love & worship Him, with all that we are, heart, soul, mind and strength.
Let me ask you this: Have you ever attended church out of a sense of duty, or because you think you’re supposed to?
I think we all have from time to time, or have you ever sat in a church service and looked around and thought, is this really what God had in mind?
Fall into the same trap as the Pharisees, get caught up in externals, the ritual, “playing the notes on the page” instead of living in the relationship that we were created for.
“The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”-Westminster Greater Catechism
What did Mr. Holland say “Is it any fun?” Following God should be fun, why? Because it’s about heart, feelings, and touching peoples lives, our beautiful Savior and being alive in Him. It’s about being a people involved in a passionate relationship w/ the God of the universe.
Jewish History-Shema, light & heavy commands-one more bit of Jewish history from the time of Christ.
Each rabbi had their own specific teaching, specific way of interpreting the Torah, each emphasized different things, & a rabbi’s teaching was called their yoke, so when you were chosen to become a follower, you would commit to following their teaching, you would take their yoke. Most teachers their yoke was hard, difficult to understand and remember.
What does X say in Mt. 11:30- “come after me all who are weary and I will give you rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”