Summary: Based on the Lawyer who asked what he had to do to inherit eternal life. The lawyer attempted to define the least he had to do.
WHAT IS THE LEAST I CAN DO AND STILL BE SAVED?
I. THE ONE ASKING THE QUESTION
1. An expert in the Mosaic law
2. By the NT period the OT law had been codified into legalistic interpretations of the law
3. The Scribes had developed detailed interpretations of what exactly constituted sins and how to avoid sinning
4. Scribes had reduced one¡¦s relationship to God to ¡§the letter of the law¡¨ and spelled out specifically what each law meant
6. The letter of this law can be obeyed simply by not saying the ¡§name¡¨ of God at all
7. The ¡§Name¡¨ in this verse is taken by the scribes to refer to the personal name of God revealed to Moses at the burning bush (YHWH)
8. This interpretation reduces the meaning of this prohibition to simply saying God¡¦s name in a vain, empty, profane way (the name + a four letter word)
9. But name refers to much more than a word
10. NAME represents the person
11. The meaning of the third commandment is much greater than how you say the NAME
12. It is about living in relationship to the NAME
13. We take the NAME in vain when we claim it but dishonor it by the way we conduct life
14. If you say you love God, but hate your neighbor, you take the NAME of God in vain
15. The lawyer was living up to the letter of the law, but not up to the spirit of the law
16. He had interpreted the law in the narrowest sense
17. This is how much I have to do to be obedient
II. WHEN A QUESTION IS NOT A QUESTION
1. ¡§What must I do to inherit eternal life?¡¨
2. The question was asked by one who was an expert on the scripture
3. He didn¡¦t need anyone telling him how to be saved
4. Jesus knew that the expert in the law already knew the answer
5. He threw the conversation right back at the scribe, the lawyer, the expert and asked him, ¡§What do you think? ¡§What is written in the Law? How do you read?¡¨
6. A devout Jew wore little box called a phylactery on their forehead or on their wrist
7. This practice is described in Deut 6:6-9
6Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem„T on your forehead, 9and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
8. In these little boxes or receptacles were portions of scripture which served as a constant reminder of the presence of God
5They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad (BIG) and their fringes long.
10. When Jesus asked the lawyer his opinion, He may well have pointed to the man¡¦s oversized phylactery and asked, ¡§How do you read?¡¨
27Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.