Wednesday Morning: 16 Oct 2019 – Matthew 22:23-46 ~ The Two Most Important Commandments

Wednesday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Grace – Wednesday)

O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day: Defend us by your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin nor run into any danger; and that guided by your Spirit, we may do what is righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Matthew 22:23-46 (NLT)

Discussion about Resurrection

That same day Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. They posed this question: “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies without children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name.’ Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children, so his brother married the widow. But the second brother also died, and the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them. Last of all, the woman also died. So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her.”

Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven.

“But now, as to whether there will be a resurrection of the dead—haven’t you ever read about this in the Scriptures? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ So he is the God of the living, not the dead.”

When the crowds heard him, they were astounded at his teaching.

The Most Important Commandment

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Whose Son Is the Messiah?

Then, surrounded by the Pharisees, Jesus asked them a question: “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”

They replied, “He is the son of David.”

Jesus responded, “Then why does David, speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit, call the Messiah ‘my Lord’? For David said,

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’

Since David called the Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?”

No one could answer him. And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.
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Morning Reflection:

The Two Most Important Commandments

“The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

  1. “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.”
  2.  “‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The Pharisee asked Jesus another controversial question to which various Scripture experts gave various answers.

The rabbis documented 613 commandments in the Mosaic Law, 248 positive and 365 negative. Since no one could possibly keep them all, they divided them into “heavy” (more important) and “light” (less important). The Pharisees taught that the Jews needed to give attention to all the laws but particularly the “heavy” ones. This Pharisee was asking which of the “heavy” ones Jesus considered the “heaviest.”

To answer, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:5 and then Leviticus 19:18.

  1. Deuteronomy 6:5 (love God) is great because it is primary, i.e. our relationship with God.
  2. Leviticus 19:18 (love People) is similar in character. i.e. our relationship with people.

The rest of the Old Testament hangs from or flows out of these two commandments. All the other laws deal with specific applications of one or the other of these two commands. The prophets consistently stressed the importance of heart reality with God and genuine love for one’s neighbor. Without these two commandments the Old Testament lacks unifying summaries.

Questions for consideration:

  • How can you put God first in your life? What would it mean for you to love God with all your heart, soul. and mind? What would change? Please explain.
  • How can you love people unselfishly? What would it mean for you to put someone else’s interests before your own? Who comes to mind? Please explain.
  • The New Testament also contains a large number of commands. Which ones are emphasized in your faith community? Which of these do you think is most important? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Of Confession – Most merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed,
by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.

For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Of Pardon – If we confess our sins to him,
he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
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“You Don’t Love God If You Don’t Love Your Neighbor” – Rhonda Vincent

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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