Saturday, February 20, 2016

Read Matthew 22-23

Highlight: Matthew 22: 34-40

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

 

The Sadducees and the Pharisees were the professional scholars of the Torah and very jealous of anyone who threatened their power or challenged their authority. Thinking that Jesus was merely one more false prophet, one of the Sadducees who was actually a lawyer posed this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

This was a “gotcha” question. There was no way, they reasoned, that a small-town rabbi with a scraggly group of followers could come up with the right answer. At the very least, they planned to discredit and embarrass him before the crowd. Some Pharisees probably hoped to bring him before the court on heresy charges. Therefore they were amazed when he answered the trick question, clearly and with great certainty, giving the one correct answer. His reply proved not only the depth of his knowledge of the scriptures, but also his thorough understanding of the Law and the Prophets. He distilled countless wordy scrolls and centuries of wisdom into the words we know as “The Great Commandment.”

 

Prayer

God of all knowledge and wisdom, teach me how to love You with all my heart, soul, and mind. Guide my speech and actions as I seek to love my neighbors as you ask, according to Your holy word. Amen

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