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Summary: This sermon shows the priority that the Word of God gives to loving God, and loving others.

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THE TWO GREATEST COMMANDMENTS

Text: Matthew 22:34-40

"But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put

the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered to-

gether.

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him

a question, tempting him, and saying,

Master, which is the great commandment in the

law?

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy

God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and

with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love

thy neighbor as thyself.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the

prophets."

Introduction-

Background of the text

Jesus examined

Notice, please the context in which these words

were spoken by our Lord. He was under vicious

scrutiny and attack by the Scribes and Pharisees.

Notice, also, that he had successfully already

put the Sadducees to silence; in other words, he

had outsmarted them with his wisdom.

The self-righteous Pharisees had heard about this,

and they were determined to entrap Jesus. One

of their number, a lawyer, an expert in the Mosaic

Law, tempted him by asking him what was the great-

est commandment of all.

Jesus, of course, knew their hearts, and what they

were out to do. His response was to quote from

Deuteronomy 6:5, to begin with, and then to quote

Leviticus 19:18. Let’s notice-

I.LOVE DESIRED

The passage Jesus first quoted in Deuteronomy

tells us to love God supremely, with all our

heart, soul, and might. All of us, who are

believers love God somewhat, but do we love

Him with ALL our heart, soul, and might? That

is saying a lot. According to Jesus, God desires

much more of us that religious ritual, or our

good works, or our money. He desires us. He

wants us to love Him. He wants us to love Him

more than anything or anyone in this world. He

deserves such devotion, for He is our Creator,

and our God. The proof of our love for Him is

our obedience. As Samuel asked King Saul:

"Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offer-

ings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice

of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than

sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams."

(1st Samuel 15:22)

This is why the commandment to love God is su-

preme, because, you see, when we love God with

all our heart, soul, and might we will have no

problem keeping the first four of the ten com-

mandments that deal with our relationship with

God. If we love Him with All our heart, soul,

and might, we will not have any other gods be-

fore Him. We will not make or worship any idol.

We will not take His name in vain, or fail to

keep the day that He set aside as holy, the

Sabbath, special.

To love God supremely is the greatest expression

of religious faith. To fail to love Him supreme-

ly negates all the "so called" religious devotion

that we might pretend to display.

Nothing is right between us and God if we do not

sincerely love Him.

Love will motivate us to do His will, and keep

His Word. There is no greater incentive than

that.

The 2nd greatest commandment is also true. If

we do not love our fellowman, and especially our

fellow believers, then all our religious activity

and profession is futile.

The 2nd quote from Leviticus 19:18 says that we

are to love our neighbor as ourself. According

to the epistle of first John we cannot and do not

actually love God if we do not love our fellow-

man, especially those of the household of faith.

1st John 4:7, 8, 20

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is

of God; and every one that loveth is born of God,

and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not

God, for God is love. If a man say, I love God,

and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he

that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen,

how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"

If we loved our neighbor as ourself we would keep

the last six of the ten commandments than deal

with our relationships with others. We would

obey and honor our parents. We would not kill,

or commit adultery, or steal, or bear false wit-

ness, or covet anything that was our neighbors.

So, we can see that Jesus was right when He said

that on these two commandments HANG ALL THE LAW

and THE PROPHETS.

But, we also need to notice something else-

II. LOVE DEMANDED

God commands us to love Him and others. He is

God, and He has a right to demand that of us.

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