Matthew 22:34-38 The Greatest Commandment

After Jesus stumped the Sadducees they all get together again and this time the man who knew the Bible the best or maybe even knew how to argue the best stepped forward to try and test Jesus. Some believe that because of the special title that this man was given that any error that Jesus would have made this man would be able to point out His error therefore debunking Jesus and proving to all those following Him that He was not worth following.

What Commandment in the Law is the greatest?

This was something the religious leaders prided themselves on and had many discussion about. The religious leaders determined that there were 613 laws in the Old Testament, 248 Positive laws and 365 negative laws. Adam and Eve were given one law and after sinned entered the world then laws had to be established so that man would not hurt each other or even themselves.

They would debate over which ones took priority or as they would say where heavier than the other ones. This question was not an easy one and would have stumped almost everyone but Jesus answers it perfectly. Jesus is getting ready to sum up the whole Bible for them in one easy statement.

You shall Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind.

Jesus was taking this from Deuteronomy 6 which the Jewish people quoted several times a day.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

We are to love God with our whole being. Although there is no separating these we can see the impact that each one of them makes in our lives.

Heart: The core of ones being / who you really are.

Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,  for from it flow the springs of life

Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Remember the religious leaders were about the outside appearance but Jesus was about what was on the inside. In the choosing of King David God said man looks on the outward appearance but I look at the heart. (1 Samuel 16)

Soul: Feelings, Desires and Emotions

The word soul also means that part of us that lives for eternity but in this context it is closer tied to feelings, desires and emotions.

Mark 8:36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

John 12:27 Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.

These two verses show the difference between the Soul speaking of the part of us that lives for eternity and the part of us that is tied to our emotions.

Being emotional is not a bad thing when under control. We are all emotional beings and God created us that way. Anger is an emotion and so is joy but if they are displayed at inappropriate times then they can become sin.

King David was emotional when he took on Goliath because he was angry that Goliath was blaspheming God the way he was. It was through that emotion that drove him to go and do something about it.

Jesus was emotional when He kicked the people out of the temple for extorting money from the people as they showed up to worship. Jesus was angry at how they were mistreating the people and abusing them.

Emotions are what get you going it is where you get your adrenaline from but we sometimes shy away from emotions because we have been taught they are bad. Any emotion that is out of control is bad but not emotions themselves. The Bible says in your anger do not sin. (Ephesians 4:26)  Being sad, being joyful are both emotions but if those emotions control you then you are in trouble.

Mind: Thinking, Understanding and Determination

2 Peter 3:1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder

Philippians 2:5-7 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[b] being born in the likeness of men.

Notice he says to have this mind or way of thinking and then tells you how you ought to think. If you want to act like Christ then you have to think like Christ because thoughts always lead to action. Wrong thinking has always led people to wrong actions and that is why our minds have to be fully submitted to God at all times.

Compartmentalized Christianity

Churches: Compartmentalize when people do not engage their minds, emotions and their actions.

Churches and people are known for separating these three aspects of what God requires. Some Churches are all about the emotion of the service and not about being challenged mentally. They come to church and they want to feel God.  You can fake the emotional experience with God and leave the church thinking you have met with God when in fact it was just your emotions manipulating you to feel a certain way.

You are never supposed to not be engaged mentally in worship. Cults sing until the brain becomes numb. Chants and even Christian Songs are sung to the point that the mind disengages and people are mindlessly singing songs without a clue of what they are singing or really where they are at.

Some Churches are all academic and avoid the emotions of worship. This is robbing people of an aspect of creation that God created. If emotions are how we are made then engaging them in worship properly, is not a bad thing.

People: Compartmentalize when they believe that their spiritual life is separate from the rest of their lives.

There is some truth to starting habits even when you do not feel like it but at the same time your desire for God should be greater than the pain of disciplining yourself in any action you know is of Him. There is talk that requiring people to engage in spiritual discipline as being wrong. There is no other aspect of life where we tell people not to discipline themselves so why should Christianity be any different.

People compartmentalize Christianity by separating there spiritual life from the  rest of their life. We think we can have one spiritual section of our lives  and then the rest of our lives are somehow separated from that spiritual life. That is not how Christianity works.

If you picture your life as a dinner plate and everything on it as being what you present to God you understand what it means to love the Lord your God with all of yourself. The problem is we believe we can put prime rib (our spiritual life) on one part of the plate and dog poop (the parts of our life we do not want others to know about) on another part and offer it to God. We would not allow that to take place at any restaurant we eat at but we do it with God all the time.

Would you be able to give God  plate of your life and claim that you love Him with all your Heart, Soul and Mind?

1 John 2:3-5 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:

All of us have areas in our lives we need to continue to surrender to God but the key is to not accept anything in your life that would not be honoring to God. Even the Apostle Paul had areas he wished he had better under control.

Romans 7:15 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

We all have a tendency to do things that we know are wrong but are we longing and striving to clean them up like the Apostle Paul?

Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The reason that this is the greatest commandment is because the rest of your  life will flow out of your love for God.

Brent Gambrel: “Fall Crazy in love with Jesus and the rest will take care of itself. “

This entry was posted in Matthew. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *