Archive for the ‘Shema’ Tag

Down to Earth Detail   Leave a comment

We live in a world of moral relativism, so know what the Scripture teaches is essential.

Someone asked Jesus to identify the “greatest commandment.” It was a trick question. If He answered with any of the 10, He’d be deemed a false rabbi because each of the 10 is the greatest commandment. They’re all equal.

Which tells us something about God, if we’d really consider it. All of His commands are equal and so are all of our sins.

Little digression there. Lela

Jesus answered “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:36-38).

Sadly, a person can hear this command and completely misinterpret it. The emerging church and the casual dabbler in verses will use this as an excuse for believing nothing and holding no moral standards. They’ll take the verse out of context and say that all that is required to be “right” with God is to “love” Him with all of your heart.

But Jesus didn’t make this statement in a vacuum. He was referencing the 10 commandments. His listeners knew that because He was quoting the Shema, which they used (and some still do) in their worship. We also know this because Jesus followed up with a second commandment.

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39)

If you read the 10th Commandments, you find these two commandments synopsize them perfectly. You can’t understand what Jesus actually meant without looking at the 10 Commandments.

What does it mean to love God with every fiber of your being (Exodus 20:1-11)? What does it mean to love our neighbor as ourselves? (Exodus 20:12-17). It’s very clear and it’s not easy. It looks a lot like morality and it appears to be non-negotiable.

Jesus was no modern philosopher spewing words of easy belief and content-less platitudes. The 10 Commandments provides absolutes in down-to-earth detail.

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