Anglican Daily Fountain 14 February 2023 (THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT)
TODAY’S TOPIC: THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT
TEXT: Matthew 22: 16-41(NKJV)
16. And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men.
17. “Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
18. But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, [you] hypocrites?
19. “Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius.
20. And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription [is] this?”
21. They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
22. When they had heard [these words,] they marveled, and left Him and went their way.
23. The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him,
24. saying: “Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother.
25. “Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother.
26. “Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh.
27. “Last of all the woman died also.
28. “Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.”
29. Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.
30. “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.
31. “But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying,
32. ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
33. And when the multitudes heard [this,] they were astonished at His teaching.
34. But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.
35. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked [Him a question,] testing Him, and saying,
36. “Teacher, which [is] the great commandment in the law?”
37. Jesus said to him, ” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38. “This is [the] first and great commandment.
39. “And [the] second [is] like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40. “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
41. While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,
In our text we see Jesus disgrace the Pharisees and the Herodians on payment of taxes. He later confounded the Sadducees on their ignorance about marriage on earth and in Heaven. Jewish leaders in Jesus’ day often fought over the relative importance of commandments. Hence the Pharisees approached Jesus and their lawyer asked Him which was the greatest commandment in the Law.
Christ reveals that the love of God is the first and great commandment, and the second is to love neighbour as oneself. Jesus said loving God is linked inextricably to loving other people. John echoes this statement when he says, “If anyone says he loves God but hates his brother, he is a liar” (1 John 4: 20). Work is the primary way through which we love other people. Our work fulfils the Great Commandment (Mark 12: 28-34) and the Good Samaritan lifestyle-Loving your neighbour as yourself (Luke 10: 25-37).
And we must love our neighbour as truly and sincerely as we love ourselves. In many cases, we must deny ourselves for the good of others. Do you love God wholeheartedly? This will cost you time, talent and treasure. Decide to show love to someone today. Will you do so?
PRAYER: Dear Father, help me to love you with all my heart, soul and strength. Amen.
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