Summary: In Matthew 22 Jesus actually gives us the secret of life that so many search for.
What is the secret of life? Have you ever been asked that question? Or maybe you have asked that question yourself in one of those kind of quiet, contemplative moments in your life. Maybe one crystal clear summer night you were lying on your back on the grass looking up at the millions of stars in the sky and you thought to yourself "What is my purpose? Why am I here? What is the meaning of life?" These are important questions. These are questions that a lot of people wrestle with because people want to have a sense of meaning and purpose; they want to feel that they matter. They want to feel like they are significant and they want to be successful and happy.
And there are so many people out there trying to figure out the secret of life that if you were to walk into a bookstore or library one of the biggest sections you will find is the self-help or self-improvement section. Seriously, go to a bookstore and count the number of shelves devoted to this section; it's crazy. There are literally thousands of authors out there who are trying to help you figure out the meaning, the secret of life. One of my personal favorites was a best-selling book published back in 2006 called "The Secret". The author of the book claimed to have figured out the secret of life. In the book she says that the thoughts and feelings that we have generate a frequency that gets sent out into the universe and the universe will then send us things that match up with that frequency. So if we think negative thoughts the universe will send us negative things because, you know, the universe really likes to kick you when you’re down. But if you think positive thoughts the universe will send you positive things. An example from the book is, if a person wanted a new car, by thinking about the new car, having positive and thankful feelings about the car as if it were already attained and opening one's life in tangible ways for a new car to be acquired (for example, test driving the new car, or making sure no one parks in the space where the new car would arrive); the law of attraction would rearrange events to make it possible for the car to manifest in the person's life. I tried this the other day… I thought positively about 10 million dollars, I cleared a spot on my table for my 10 million dollars to sit, I made sure that my bank account had enough space for 10 million dollars. So far the universe hasn’t made any of that money manifest on my kitchen table.
Now I know that many of you are probably finding some of this a little bit funny but you should know that this book sold 19 million copies and was on the best-seller list for 146 weeks! It sold so many copies that it wasn’t really a secret anymore. It was able to do those things because people in this world are searching for meaning. People want to know what their purpose is. And if you are one of the people who has ever wanted to know the secret of life or the meaning of life then you had better pay attention this morning because I have a book that has sold an estimated 7 billion copies, and has been on the best-seller list since they first kept records of book sales. This book talks about the meaning of life and today we look at a particular passage of that book where the main character finally tells us the true meaning of life.
Take a look at that Gospel reading with me for this morning (Read through Mt. 22:34-40)And what Jesus is saying here is pretty profound because he is actually telling these Pharisees what the meaning of life truly is. The true meaning of life is whatever the Creator says it is. If God formed you then he decides your purpose. If you were to go home today and take a piece of clay into your hands to mold it into something you as the creator are the only one who can decide what the meaning and purpose of that thing is. And our creator has communicated our purpose using the Law and the Prophets; A.K.A. scripture. Scripture is what God used to tell us what we are supposed to do and if you want to boil down our entire purpose into two commands it would be Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. That is the secret to life do these things and you will live.
There you go. Your pastor just gave you the secret to life. The secret to life is that you are not the most important thing in the world; sorry. The secret to life is that God comes first and he wants your heart, soul, and mind all to himself. The secret to life is that you’re supposed to care for others more than yourself; that’s the secret. Actually it’s not really a secret at all it’s something that has been written down in the best-selling book of all time, a book so available there are enough copies in print for every person on the planet and it has been translated into nearly every language. Not exactly what you would call a secret.