Jesus tells a Scribe the Greatest Commandment
It is often said by people that sin is sin with God and that one sin is not greater than any other sin, this is true. However, there are sins our Lord lifts up on a higher plain than others and He proves it by calling those particular sins an abomination to Him. Our Lord Jesus even speaks of different degrees of eternal judgment. He said to some of the cities that He taught and preached the Kingdom of God in (that rejected Him and His message) that at the judgment it would be better for Sodom than for some of them.
Likewise after our Lord had corrected the error in thinking by the Sadducees about the resurrection from the dead of those in Heaven, He was asked by a Scribe, “Which is the greatest commandment of all?” Unlike many of the other encounters our Lord had with other Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees, this man appeared to have been observing our Lord intently and saw in Him honesty, integrity, and truthfulness. The man perhaps had been to many other places and heard our Lord speak even when some of his fellow Scribes would try to catch Him in His words this man witnessed our Lord speak always the truth with fearless authority no matter His surroundings. So this was his moment as his heart has been consumed with desire to understand the truth of God and he has come to the conclusion that this man is perhaps who He says He is and is indeed from God.
John 3:2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” NKJV
Our Lord takes him back to the Book of Deuteronomy and specifically Chapter 6 verses 4 and 5, but our Lord quotes it to this man as follows: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ Our Lord added the phrase “with all your mind” as it was not written as such in the Old Testament but the word used for soul means the mind also therefore our Lord wanted to just emphasize the mind to place an emphatic exclamation to the love one must have to God the Father. Our Lord then added this, “And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?” NKJV
Isaiah 44:8 “Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.’” NKJV
Isaiah 45:18 For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the LORD, and there is no other.” NKJV
Isaiah 46:9-10 “Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure’” NKJV
These two verses of Scripture are often quoted, but it is very important for us to understand that this is impossible to do without first being given a new heart through regeneration and new birth. One of our modern worship songs has this particular line as part of the lyrics and it says, “To love You from the inside out.” This is the type of love that can only be shown because it has been engrafted into the heart of the worshiping and adoring soul by God. Only the soul that has been cleansed from the stain of sin and sin’s polluting power and dominion can truly love God with their heart (the inner man; their will; their desire) see Ephesians 3:16 and their soul (their individual unique personality) see 1 Samuel 18:1 and with their mind (the thoughts and intents) see 1 Corinthians 2:16 and finally with their strength (their bodies with power) see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
Deuteronomy 30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. NKJV
Matthew 10:37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” NKJV
This Scribe that wanted to know the truth acknowledged to our Lord Jesus that He had indeed spoken the truth. This man perhaps could hear a whisper into his heart of our Lord saying to him, “Give me Your Heart.” (see article entitled “Give Me Your Heart”, http://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=77423 ). This man having lived long enough to look around him during this life and see that only those people who had a real and genuine love for YAHWEH (like the parents of John the Baptist Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth as the Scripture said of them, “And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless”) lived a life that did others no wrong or harm and to the contrary the mere religious people were as wicked, crooked, violent, immoral, and deceitful as a human being could be.
Romans 13:9-10 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. NKJV
Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” NKJV
The human heart that is brought to the place of wanting to know the only truth will always be drawn to our Lord Jesus Christ for He is THE TRUTH. Our Lord recognizes that this man’s heart is open and ready to see Him as his only hope for rescue, redemption, and restoration from sin and judgment (see the article entitled “Has Your Heart truly turned to Christ”, http://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=86979 ). And I say that it would not be a long stretch to believe that this man was one of the many priest that heard the gospel message preached with power by the Apostles and repented and believed and received THE TRUTH into his heart through regeneration and the new birth. Indeed he was not far off after all and no one reading this is far off either because the word is near to you even in your mouth that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart (inner man or woman) that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved for with the heart (inner man or woman) one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (rescue, redemption, and restoration from sin and judgment).
Acts 6:7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. NKJV
Hebrews 10:15-17 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” NKJV
“If loving God with one’s whole being is the greatest commandment, then not to do so must be the greatest sin--indeed, the root of all sin.” Dave Hunt
“Love is not just a sentiment. Love is a great controlling passion and it always expresses itself in terms of obedience.” Martin Lloyd-Jones
“The nature of God's love is unchangeable. Ours alternates all too readily. If it is our habit to love God with our own affection we shall turn cold towards Him whenever we are unhappy.” Watchman Nee
“God created you for the first and greatest commandment, to be a lover of God.” Sam Storms
“To love God does not mean to meet His needs, but rather to delight in Him and to be captivated by His glorious power and grace, and to value Him above all other things on earth. All the rest of the commandments are the kinds of things that we will do from our hearts, if our hearts are truly delighted with and resting in the glory of God’s grace.” John Piper
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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