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The Two Commandments That Are The Foundation

John Collins04/18/2012
Matthew 22 tells how some Sadducees came to Jesus.  The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, and tried to argue their point with a question:

"Teacher," they said, "Moses said 'If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.'"

The described a situation where there were seven brothers.  The first married and died with no offspring, so he left his wife to the second brother.  The same happened with the third and forth, and on unto the seventh.  After them all, the woman died.

"In the resurrection, which of the seven brothers will be married to this wife?" they asked.  "They all had her."

Jesus answered that they were wrong, because they neither knew the scriptures nor the power of God.  In the resurrection, they are neither married or given in marriage, but are like the angels in heaven.

He said that they had also not read what was said by God: "I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."  Jesus said that he is not God of the dead, but God of the living.  When the crowd heard it, they were astonished at this statement.

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.  They brought a man who was taught in the ways of debate, a lawyer, and had the lawyer ask a question to test Jesus:  "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?

Jesus replied that the first and great commandment was that "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." 

He also said that the second is very much like the first:  "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Jesus said that these two commandments were the foundation to all of the Law and all of the Prophets.

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Do we place so much emphasis on some of the minor laws that we lose sight of the greatest two commandments?  Do we even understand the reason the Law was given, so that we would have divine love?  In picking and choosing the laws that fit our motives, do we condemn others?  How many has failed to marry his brothers widow, yet condemns another for some other law?  Shouldn't we focus on the first commandment, to love the Lord God with everything within us?  Have we forgotten the second greatest commandment?  If Jesus were here today, would he tell us that we "neither knew the scriptures nor the power of God?"

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