Summary: The Two Great Commandments -- loving God and loving others -- cannot be separated. Yet they can be contemplated because they are aimed in two directions.
Loving God and Others Midrashim
(Deuteronomy 7:6-11 with John 3:16, 5:20-24, 14:21; Deuteronomy 10:18-19, Leviticus 19:18 with Luke 6:31, 10:25-37)
1. The World is changing. It used to be that the world’s tallest buildings were all in the U.S.; but not for quite some time.
2. DUBAI (AFP) – "Once-bustling Dubai will open the world’s tallest skyscraper on Monday, boasting new limits in design and construction…
"Bill Baker, a structural and civil engineer and partner in Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), which designed the tower, said Burj Dubai has set a new benchmark.
"We thought that it would be slightly taller than the existing tallest tower of Taipei 101. (Emaar) kept on asking us to go higher but we didn’t know how high we could go," he said.
"We were able to tune the building like we tune a music instrument. As we went higher and higher and higher, we discovered that by doing that process... we were able to reach heights much higher than we ever thought we could.
"We learned quite a bit from Burj Dubai. I would think we could easily do a one kilometer (tower). We are optimistic about the ability to go even higher."
The 160-floor tower, containing …11.55 million cubic feet of concrete and 31,400 tons of steel, can be seen from as far as… 59 miles away."
3. American Christians have learned or are learning how to practice their faith in a more diverse culture. The Jews in Jesus’ day had worse challenges, having to adjust to Roman rule and gentile oppression.
4. No matter what the culture or era, Christians must figure out what it means to love God and love others. God demands this of us.
Main Idea: The Two Great Commandments -- loving God and loving others -- cannot be separated. Yet they can be contemplated because they are aimed in two directions.
I. VERTICAL Love (Deuteronomy 7:6-11, John 3:16, 36, 14:21, I John 3:1)
A. God chose Israel by TRANSFERRING Love (Deut. 7:6-11)
1. God’s GENERAL love for all mankind (6)
2. God’s SPECIAL love for Israel (7-8)
3. Israel to RESPOND to His love by obedience (9b)
4. God’s love scorned means WRATH (10-11)
B. God loves us by TRANSFERRING His love for the Son (John 5:20-24)
That’s one reason why the believer is said to be "In Christ" or "In the beloved."
1. God’s general love for the WORLD (John 3:16)
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16)
2. God’s special love for His OWN (I John 3:1)
"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him."
3. RETURN love by obedience (John 14:21)
Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him" (John 14:21
4. Reject Jesus: experience God’s WRATH (cf. John 3:36)
"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him."