“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.””
In Matthew 22 we pick up Jesus Christ having some debates with some of the religious leaders of that time. More commonly known as the Sadducees and the Pharisees. Both groups held strict guidelines about the law. The main difference is the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection from the dead. Both groups are questioning Jesus, but not for the greater good. They are trying to back him into a corner, prove him as a false teacher and discredit his ministry. Not to make sure the people have the truth, but so they can continue in their religious practices that were void a true relationship with God.
They were using the law and religious practices as badges of honor. It was an opportunity to put themselves on a pedestal and make their own names great. The first group, the Sadducees, are questioning Christ about the resurrection. He clearly points out from the scriptures that God is the God of the living and not the dead. Now the Pharisees believed in the resurrection and decide to question Christ about the law. Jesus tells them that the most important laws have to do with loving God and loving your neighbor. Not stealing, or committing adultery or even honoring your parents. Love God. Love people. In doing these 2 things you have fulfilled the whole law.
“Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.”
In I John 2 John says I’m not writing a new commandment and then turns around and says that it’s new. It’s not new. God has always been telling us to love God and to love our neighbor. The difference is now we have the Spirit of God living in us to empower us to obey God’s commands. We see the same thing with new eyes, because of a regenerated heart. Made alive on the inside. Living these commandments towards God. Not just some empty words on a page or using them as accolades for self-promotion. They are rhema. They are words that we live by and are living in us.
Jesus points out that first that our God is alive. He lives in us and brings us to life. Now that we are alive we are to love. Loving God is not just having the warm and fuzzies. Love is an action word. John also wrote that if we love God we will keep His commandments. We live out this love by obeying what God said. Not that we are perfect. We will mess up and make mistakes, but if you fall 7 times then get up 8 times. Keep aiming to love. Get your relationship with God, who is love itself, and spread that love to your neighbor. Love them like you would yourself. When you see them fall help them back up to where they belong.
We are ambassadors for Christ. He has given us the ministry of reconciliation. We are to be tender hearted and forgiving to our brothers and sisters in Christ and to the unbelievers. They ought to see the love we have for one another in the church and want to be apart of it. We are to reach out to the lost and show them the goodness of God. Not face them with hate and condemnation, but with respect and love. We can stand for truth and not be jerks about it. Let’s be like God and reason together. In some way we can help each other out and be a blessing to one another.
That leads us to our Throwback Song of the Week. This guy is not just a hip hop vet, but he’s a legend in my book. One of the masters of the art of freestyle rapping. Hailing out of Tampa, Florida – KJ-52. This week’s song is from his 2002 release entitled “Collaborations”. The featured track is his classic open letter on wax to rapper Eminem called “Dear Slim”. Tune into the Trackstarz show this week to hear DJ Jeremaya spin this for the Throwback Song of the Day. Until next time…
Peace and blessings,