Summary: Encouraging the congregation to love God and love others.
Recap the last few weeks. The Pharisees and Sadducees tried to trap Jesus with their questions -- only to their folly.
Pharisees with regard to taxes
Sadducees with regard to Marriage and Resurrection. Jesus rebukes them for not knowing the scriptures.
This week, we’re going to continue looking at the day when the Pharisees and Sadducees did all they could to find a fault in Jesus teaching.
With all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind —
Jesus was quoting from the Torah, specifically Deuteronomy 6:5. Let’s turn to Deut 6.
READ Deuteronomy 6:1–9
Here, God, speaking through Moses was saying that we’re to love God with all our heart, soul and mind by living according to the ten basic laws God had given -- the Ten Commandments:
God wants us to love him because he has freed us from slavery, therefore
First 4 Commandments: READ
God’s words says we’re to honor and pay tribute to him and him only; we are to put nothing in our life before him — including our family, friends, jobs, material possessions, etc.
God says we’re to honor him and love him by not worshipping anything other than him
The Bible says to love God by not misusing his name
We are to honor and love God by taking time out each week and worshipping him — keeping the Sabbath as the scripture says — versus going to the mall instead of church, or staying home and watching the ballgame, moving our lawns, bike riding, skiing, etc, etc. etc.
This morning, you and I — we’re honoring the Sabbath by being here and worshipping as a community. But there’s lots of people across our nation, even within our own church family, who probably aren’t loving God in this way today, as maybe they should.
And lastly, God wants us to love him by loving on our neighbors.
LOVE ONE ANOTHER
Jesus said to the Pharisees that we’re also to Love your neighbor as yourself? We hear that a lot, but what’s that mean…what’s that look like today
Let’s flip back to Deuteronomy 6:1–9.
Talk about last 6 commandments
“Honor your father and your mother
You shall not murder
“You shall not commit adultery. Yet, Jesus said, ““You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart
“You shall not steal.
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
If we use these last six commandments —in the literal sense — of how well we love on our neighbors, well we might think we’re doing okay. But when we consider how Jesus through a monkey-wrench into the system and put a whole new spin on things, it’s harder to love on our neighbors. And that’s why loving others can be so hard to do.
Love isn’t always easy — but it is doable! And it’s within everyone of us to love as Jesus loves, because he’s put it in us. If we’re in Christ, than we can love as Jesus loves, and that means there’s so much hope for the world, because of what you have within you.
WE’RE TO LOVE SELFLESSLY
The word Jesus uses here to love God and love others is the highest form of love; something often heard in church-language as “agape love.”
It means…. To love without limitation, as in the ways God loves us without limitation.
Despite our sins and the ways we disobey him -- in ways we can’t even imagine or understand, God still loves us.
He loves us so much that he’s willing to give us an almost infinite amount of chances to love him back and live according to his will.
Think about how often we have negative thoughts towards other people, or do the things we want to do, versus those that God probably wants us to do. Think about all the ways we say we’re not going to do this, that or the other thing, even though God’s Holy Word says otherwise.
If we — and ya know, that includes me — if we all really loved God and cared for his lost children as much as we want to think, the church in the United States, our congregation, our country, and our lives would look a whole lot differently.