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When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: ‘What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?’ They said to him, ‘The son of David.’ He said to them, ‘How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying, “The Lord said to my Lord,‘Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet’ ”? If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?’ No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. (Matthew 22:34-46)
There is nothing quite like spending an hour with junior high students who want to be confirmed as members of the church. I praise and thank God for those who are called to teach this age group as a profession. It's an interesting age, and best I can remember, I went through it as well. I do question, was I that way? (Notice please that I did not use the word bad!). I may have been, I just don't remember. And then we have the model of Jesus as a 12 year old, sitting with the teachers and asking questions. Now, not all the confirmands are alike. They are all sweet in their own way, and they do want to learn about God and get closer to God, but they possess an energy that if harnessed, could power the South Texas energy grid. But, the challenges of learning the faith and all that comes with it, would be difficult for anyone of any age. In this passage, these men, for they were mostly men, were adolescents once. They may have fidgeted a bit, they may have posed and postured, some may have never grown out of it, thus their position as Pharisees and Sadducees; but they, like Jesus, learned the commandments and the law as children, and youth. The ones with the religious titles asked the first question to Jesus: "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" It was a Sunday school type question, meaning, if you attended SS on a regular basis, paid a little attention, and passed the quiz, you would know this. Jesus knew it. "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. The Message version says, "Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.'"
Passion. Prayer. Intelligence. These explain a bit more what the above version says of heart, soul, and mind. If you have love and passion in your heart, the love that comes out is different from just loving or saying you love someone or something. Recently, those in this area who love the Astros know all about passion. Friday and Saturday nights were awesome nights for the fans of baseball in this area. Some would have added prayer to the passion for the Astros, and that is acceptable, but Jesus is talking about being strongly connected to God through prayer. It is the fuel of your soul to love God and to stay in touch with God. And intelligence is that which fuels your mind's activity; if you love God, you will think about God often and in ways that boost your life. Many are the ones who simply think or say, "God's got this," as they think and reflect and pray about challenges or obstacles that come their way. Jesus knew the commandment, but more importantly, Jesus knew God.
The final question was put to the Pharisees and Sadducees by Jesus. "What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is He?" This was a question that they first answered with the name, "David." Yet, Jesus asks a tougher question, How can David, who for many, was the greatest king and ruler, and out of whose house the Messiah was expected, call a son of his, "Lord?" No one could answer that question, and you will note that from that day on, no one dared asked Jesus any more questions. Jesus bested them at their own game. For the one who knows God, knows the best answer to most questions.
PRAYER: Loving God, I want to know you with passion, prayer, and intelligence. I seek to know You as I go through life. Help me to share what I know with those who seek. Bless those in need, and help us respond with whatever we can to those. This we pray in Christ Jesus' strong name, amen.
Have a great and blessed day in the Lord! Ask questions that may bring the Answer to those still seeking.
Prayers for Mr. Larry Ehrig of Gonzales, in San Antonio, facing surgery today. Prayers for Ms. Ann Keck as well.