Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. — Matthew 22:37
Love will cause a person to do some strange things. When I began dating the young lady who later became my wife, we lived a six-hour drive apart, yet I went to visit her every weekend for about two years. Often I was working up to nineteen or twenty hours a day. By the end of the week I was tired, but I would start out anyway. Sometimes I bought three big cups of coffee to keep me awake until the next town. Other times I would stop, get out of the car, run down the road to wake myself up, and then jump back in and drive a few more miles. I was completely driven by love.
Have you ever loved someone so much that you wanted to be near that person as often as possible? When you weren’t together, they were on your mind constantly. You listened to that person’s opinions and ideas, and you began to take them as your own. You wanted to please that person in every way — in fact, you looked for ways to express your devotion to them.
When we love God deeply, that is just how we feel. We look forward to spending time with Him. He is often on our minds, even when we are busy with the cares and duties of life. We do our best to pay careful attention to His Word so that we can have His attitudes and precepts showing in our lives. We have a desire to please Him and to express our devotion to Him.
Jesus told the lawyer in today’s text that he should love the Lord with all his heart, soul, and mind. How do we do that? To love God with all our hearts means that our affections will be affixed on Him more strongly than anything else, and we will be willing to give up all that we hold dear in response to His command. To love God with all our souls means that we love Him with our spirits and our vitality, and we are willing to devote our lives to Him for His service. To love God with all our minds means that we will apply ourselves to knowing Him and His holy will, desiring His thoughts and perspectives on matters, rather than our own.
Let us endeavor to put Jesus’ words into action in our lives. We may find it necessary, at times, to pray that the Lord will put this kind of love for Him into our hearts, but the results will be worth it!
The Pharisees were one of the leading religious groups during Jesus’ time, and they opposed the Roman government that had the rule over them. The Herodians were a political party who backed Herod and the Roman government. Ordinarily, these groups were against each other, but they united in an endeavor to trap Jesus. They hoped that His answer to their question regarding the paying of the tribute would get Him into trouble. Had Jesus said that they should pay tribute, the Pharisees would have stirred the people against Him. Had He said they should not pay tribute, the Herodians would have reported Him to the Roman government.
Jesus knew that they were not seeking the truth. Their scheme was cleverly planned, but it did not work because they were dealing with the Son of God, whose wisdom is greater than all others. Jesus asked whose image was on the money. A maxim of those times said that whoever had his image upon the money of commerce was the acknowledged ruler. Jesus’ response was both an answer as well as a rebuke, and those trying to trap Him went away marveling at His wisdom.
Next, the Sadducees tried to set a trap. They were a religious group who did not believe in the resurrection. Their question, which was both hypothetical and improbable, referenced the Law’s direction that a widow without a son should be cared for by her brother-in-law. The Sadducees thought they had given Jesus an unanswerable question, and they expected it to discredit Him.
Jesus told them that they were ignorant of the Scriptures and of the power of God. This rebuke was the strongest one that Jesus gave this religious group. In the beginning, God made man and woman that they might multiply and subdue the earth (Genesis 1:28). In the resurrection, the souls of men will be reunited with their bodies, which will have been glorified and made immortal. There will be no marriage, but all shall be as the angels of God.
Since the Sadducees accepted only the five Books of Moses (called the Pentateuch) as sources of law, Jesus quoted Exodus 3:6. When God said, “I am the God of Abraham . . .” He referred to the patriarchs as being alive. On the basis of what Jesus said, the Sadducees could not easily repudiate the truth of the resurrection, and “they were astonished at his doctrine” and “put . . . to silence.”
Jewish lawyers were experts in Old Testament law, and expounded it. No doubt the lawyer in the text was trying to trap Jesus regarding the Pharisees’ six hundred laws. Jesus summarized the Law by referring to Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18.
At the end of all this questioning, Jesus asked these people who the Messiah was. When they said, “The Son of David,” Jesus quoted Psalm 110:1, which the Jews accepted as being prophetic of the Messiah. Jesus asked, “If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?” This question baffled the Jews. They believed that the Messiah was to be a mortal man. They understood that He was to be a son of David, that He would inherit the throne of His Father, and that Israel was to be exalted to a great place of honor among the nations under His rule. However, they could or would not see that the Messiah was the divine Son of God.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
VI. The official presentation and rejection of the King
B. The rejection of the King by the nation
2. The conflict with Pharisees and Herodians (22:15-22)
a. Their question (22:15-17)
b. His silencing reply (22:18-22)
3. The conflict with the Sadducees (22:23-33)
a. Their question (22:23-28)
b. His silencing reply (22:29-33)
4. The conflict with the Pharisees (22:34-46)
a. Their question (22:34-35)
b. His silencing reply (22:36-46)
(1) The question answered (22:36-40)
(2) A question asked (22:41-46)
The people of Jesus’ time set out to trap Him rather than to learn from Him. We want to heed His commands and apply them to our daily lives. Then we will be showing our love for Him by our actions.