"Love the Lord Your God"
“Love the Lord Your God…”
One of my favorite encounters that we have in the life of Jesus is recounted in Matthew 22…
First, the Pharisees set a trap for Jesus…
15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to trap Him by what He said.
16 They sent their disciples to Him, with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know that You are truthful and teach truthfully the way of God. You defer to no one, for You don't show partiality.
17 Tell us, therefore, what You think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
18 But perceiving their malice, Jesus said, "Why are you testing Me, hypocrites?
19 Show Me the coin used for the tax." So they brought Him a denarius.
20 "Whose image and inscription is this?" He asked them.
21 "Caesar's," they said to Him.
Then He said to them, "Therefore, give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."
22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left Him and went away.
The Pharisees declared (though out of a malicious intent) the character of Jesus...
- You are Truthful
- You teach truthfully the way of God
- You defer to no one
- You do not show partiality
They then sprung the trap.
In their mind it was perfect.
Jesus would be in trouble regardless of which way He answered.
Jesus perceived their malice.
He confronted them head on.
The Pharisees were amazed a Jesus’ response.
They left Him.
They went away.
But, do not think that they would not regroup and try again...
Second, on the same day came some Sadducees…
23 The same day some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came up to Him and questioned Him:
24 "Teacher, Moses said, if a man dies, having no children, his brother is to marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother.
25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first got married and died. Having no offspring, he left his wife to his brother.
26 The same happened to the second also, and the third, and so to all seven.
27 Then last of all the woman died.
28 Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven? For they all had married her."
29 Jesus answered them, "You are deceived, because you don't know the Scriptures or the power of God.
30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven.
31 Now concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven't you read what was spoken to you by God:
32 I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living."
33 And when the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.
Note the duplicity of the Sadducees. They did not believe in the resurrection, yet they ask a question about the resurrection. Arrogant pride is literally dripping from each word. The same occurs today, especially among those that color themselves as teachers and leaders within the Kingdom...those laden with the accolades of man...
Jesus responded with one of my favorite statements of the Lord…
- You are deceived
- Because you do not know the Scriptures
- Because you do not know the power of God
Such is most of the Body of Christ today.
Deceived - because they do not know the Scripture nor the power of God.
Most rejected both - if not by word by deed.
Third, the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees. The two groups, not necessarily friendly, gathered for a common purpose. Now they were getting serious.
They were going to send a lawyer to Jesus!
34 When the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they came together in the same place.
35 And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test Him:
36 "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
37 He said to him, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
38 This is the greatest and most important commandment.
39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.
40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments."
The synopsis of the Law…
- Love God
- Love your neighbor
We should do likewise…
Teach truthfully the way of God...by word and deed…
Defer to no one…
Do not show partiality...
Walk in the Spirit so that we can perceive malice…
Confront evil head on…
Be not deceived…
Know the Word…
Know the Power of God…
Love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength…
Love our neighbors as ourselves…
A song came to me several years ago while meditating upon this passage…go to this link to listen to “Love the Lord Your God”...first song in the songs list...lyrics are available there...or...here…
You can share it over social media, purchase, “become a fan”, etc. Do it all!
(Three instrumental pieces are available for free download - just click the blue “download” )
Love the Lord Your God
Test after test
Day after day He was tried
To trip up His Words
To find some deceit deep inside
But the Lord rested on the Promise that’d come
from the Father in heaven above
To speak only what He heard from the throne
Pure dependency on His love
They finally got wise
Sent one who knew of the law
He was confident in revelation of a flaw
But when he asked for the greatest commandment of all
Jesus knew that the time was right
To reveal to those present the Source of the blessing
And power of the walk in the Light
Love the Lord your God with all your heart
Love the Lord your God with all your soul
Love the Lord your God with all your mind
This is the first and greatest commandment
Today nothing’s changed
The world still looks for a flaw
So many Believers know nothing but a law
Oh we try and we try to hear from the Lord
Though we cling to the idols we love
Let’s throw them all down and walk In the simple commandment of love from above
Words/Music: Dale Moore © 1995