January 20, 2022

Matthew 22:34-40 (HCSB)
34 When the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. 35 And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test Him:  36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.   38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.   40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”

Jason Ricciardi - In Leviticus, bacon is a no-go (11:9-12).  Cotton blend shirts too (19:19).  In Hosea, God tells the prophet to marry an adulterous woman.  What in the world do those things have to do with Matthew, written a LONG time afterward? Well, Jesus says here that ALL the Law and Prophets depend on two commands – 1) love God, 2) love people.  What do dietary and clothing restrictions have to do with love?  For that matter, why would God command a Prophet to marry a prostitute? So, the answer is kind of complex but here goes – Jesus said the ceremonial laws were no longer in place (Mark 7:17-23). They were originally there because Israel was to be different than the nations around them.  Israel couldn’t kind of follow God – it was all or nothing.  Saying no to bacon meant no to idol worship (pig sacrifices).  Saying no to blended fabric was saying yes to God completely.  Saying yes to an adulterous wife showed that NO ONE was beyond God’s reach. Even those crazy commands are all about loving God and loving people. Apparently, Jesus was on to something…

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