The 10 Commandments: H.C. Question 93

How are these commandments divided? 

Matthew 22:36-40 – “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.”

Mark 12:28-31 – One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”



Law: H.C. Question 4

Heidelberg Catechism Question 4

What does God’s law require of us?

Deuteronomy 6:5 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Leviticus 19:18 – “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

Matthew 22:36-40 – “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.”



Luke 15 – Party Time

Read Luke 15

Every time I read these parables I find myself indignantly siding with Jesus against the Pharisees.  They look down on Him for hanging out with “sinners” and even sharing a meal with them.  How could these religious leaders think that?  They know God’s Word and how Israel was called to be a light to the nations; what’s wrong with them?

Yet when I find myself interacting with people around me, even in the community that I live in, I am more likely to play the role of the Pharisee than that of Jesus.  Certainly it’s not intentional, but we as Christians do this all the time.

There can be many different reasons why we tend to only associate ourselves with those who are like us, but the fact of the matter is that we are called, as Christians, to those outside of our Christians circles.  We are the light of the world; we are the salt of the earth.  So why is it that we are so much better at keeping the light to ourselves, even judging other Christians for whom they associate themselves with?

Too often we wait until people “get better” or “act right” before we are willing to associate ourselves with them.  We have this notion in our mind that Jesus came to make bad people good.  Jesus points out that this whole concept is as ridiculous as a doctor coming to see you when you are well but refusing to treat the sick.  The greatest celebrations in heaven, Jesus says, are not when bad people start to be good, but when those who are dead find life!

Who do you know that is lost?  Perhaps that is the person to whom God is calling you to… no matter what others might think or say.



Matthew 22 – Ulterior Motives

Read Matthew 22

Have you ever done something that would seemingly benefit someone else but, in reality, you did it to benefit yourself?  Whether it is helping someone so as to receive public affirmation or being publically generous, the true intentions of our hearts are something that we have to contend with.  The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were such people, always having an ulterior motive in their minds when the questioned Jesus.

For Jesus, questions like this were not uncommon for religious teachers.  Leaders would question each other so as to affirm the truth of their teaching, or to garner more followers for themselves.  We see this in our culture a great deal, especially during election years.  In Jesus’ case, however, the Pharisees and the Sadducees were looking for an excuse to have Jesus arrested and to rid themselves of this nuisance.

Yet Jesus is unphased by these questions, not simply because He knows that they are trying to trick Him, but because He understands what is most important, what the Father truly cares about: the heart.  Both the Pharisees and the Sadducees were “experts” in the law; they “knew” how to follow God.  When they questioned Jesus though, the Lord redirected the question to expose the true fault of their hearts.

God does not concern Himself with “temple taxes,” He wants the heart of the giver.  We need not concern ourselves with holding on to worldly things, even some of our closest relationships.  Instead, He desires our trust that, when resurrection happens, all things will be made right.  The things we hold as important now will pale in comparison to what life will be like then.

What does God desire then?  The answer seems so simple: Love God and Love your neighbor; love like that has no ulterior motives.