144. Jesus corrects the Sadducees’ error- Matt. 22:23-33, Mark 12:18-27, Luke 20:27-40
-The Sadducees were a group who derived their power from their involvement in Temple activities and went strictly by the teachings of the Pentateuch had come up with the notion that there is no resurrection of the dead, which was a false teaching Jesus had to correct as they questioned in what they thought was an ingenious way. The Lord actually used their Pentateuch (the five books of the Law of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) to enlighten them on their misconception and bad theology. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. The Sadducees neither knew the Scriptures nor the power of God, which Jesus told them. And, He used the grammar of the Word to refute their doctrine using the burning bush experience with Moses (Exodus 3:1-15). He is the God of these patriarchs; as opposed to He was the God of them. *Application* How often do we negate the Scriptures in our own lives to follow a particular philosophy or doctrine that may be totally false. Pay attention to the direct and simple grammar of His message to you for clarity and theological instruction. Know your God well, and don’t be deceived in any way.
Verse to Memorize- Matthew 22:32
145. The greatest commandment- Matt. 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-34
-When the Pharisees saw that Jesus had sided with their position of the resurrection in His encounter with the Sadducees, they soften perhaps for a moment and tested Him with another question that they were in unity with Him as it turned out. When one asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus answered with the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-6) to love the LORD with everything and the command in Leviticus 19:18 to love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets’ teachings (Matthew 22:40). The scribe recognized that to follow these two commands were more important than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices because these commands were to be followed from the heart and was not an exterior expression. This led Jesus to comment that this person was not far from the Kingdom of God (Mark 12:34). This scribe had gotten the point and was near salvation. *Application* It really does come down to the matter of love, which is the most excellent gift (1 Corinthians 13:13). Love the LORD your God with everything you have and love your neighbor as much as you love yourself and you will find that you are fulfilling every Law of God in fullness. This is simple, but difficult to keep due to our own selfish nature. Only in the transformation that comes from Christ and His Spirit living in us can we really carry out these commands and fulfill the Law of Christ (Galatians 2:16-21; 6:2, Philippians 3:9). Love God and love people! To do that means that you must give up on pleasing yourself as top priority, but this is where real life begins!
Verse to Memorize- Matthew 22:40