Presentation on theme: ""Through the Bible" Week 5 The Greatest Commandment."— Presentation transcript:
"Through the Bible" Week 5 The Greatest Commandment
"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 context - a series of questions by adversarial groups, trying to "catch him in his words" (22:15). The Disciples of the Pharisees and Herodians who asked about taxes. The Sadducees with a contrived, probably hypothetical, question about marriage and the resurrection. Pharisees asking about the commandments.
Jewish Rabbis day liked to divide the commandments into greater and lesser commands – circumcision, sacrifices, Sabbath, cleansing rituals, or phylacteries. They counted 613 laws of Moses. "To keep so many laws is an angel's work."
All of the major religions of the world promote loving one another. Jewish - love is "giving without expecting to take" Islam - "Love is one of the greatest blessings Allah has bestowed on humanity."
Buddhism - "We hope that Buddhism will grow and flourish, so that all human beings can learn to love one another." Confucianism - "Only love for God could make certain that men would constantly love one another." Hindus believe in living love through their physical existence.
Sikhism - followers are to "conquer feelings of prejudice, pride, anger, hatred, contempt, avarice, but instead love one another. Baha'i - The spiritual teachings of all religions are the same - that we should love God, love one another.
Christians adhere to this law of love not because it appears to be universal, but because it is Scriptural.
What the Apostles taught concerning love: Peter: II Peter 1:57 James: James 1:27 James 2:8 James 2:14-16 James 4:1-3 James 4:11-12
John: John 13:34-35 I John 2:10 I John 3:11 I John 3:16 I John 4:7-12 I John 5:1-3 Hebrews 13:1-3 Paul Romans 13:10 Colossians 3:14 I Corinthians 13:13
The Pharisees who are among us still want to know, Which is greater, love of God or love of man?
How do we love God? Offering ourselves as living sacrifices Worshipping God in Spirit and in truth Spending quality time with Him Joyfully obeying His commands
How do we love our neighbors? Luke tells of a previous Jewish lawyer who asked Jesus about eternal life (10:25ff). When Jesus turned the question back, the lawyer answered "Love God and your neighbor," and asked, who is my neighbor?"
The Hebrew word for "neighbor" could mean "associate, companion, or friend." In Leviticus 19:17, "your neighbor" is a synonym for "your brother." In verse 16 "your neighbor" is someone "among your people." "love your neighbor as yourself" is a Hebrew idiom meaning "love your neighbor as a man like yourself". David and Jonathan I Samuel 18:1
When Jesus answered the question by telling the story of the Good Samaritan, He was drawing attention to Leviticus 19:34: "The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God."
Christian love - in obedience to the Lord, and in the power of the Holy Spirit is more than friendship love, or "brotherly kindness." Christian love reaches beyond all of the normal dividing lines and touches those who are different from us, but who are in need.
Ultimately our love for God is that which motivates the faithful preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "Christ's love compels us." (II Corinthians 5:14, 15)
Ephesians 3:16-19 "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge --that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."