It’s Tuesday of Passion week. Yesterday, Jesus cleared the Temple and cursed the fig tree. This morning He and His disciples come past the fig tree again, and it’s completely withered. Jesus uses this event to turn them, once again, toward a relationship with God through prayer.
Jesus tells them just how powerful prayer is and invites them to pray and believe.
This is a very busy day full of teaching. Jesus tells many of the parables on this day. He deals with the trick questions from the religious leaders. The final attempt at a “gotcha” question provides Jesus with the opportunity to give one of the most powerful teachings of His entire ministry – we’ve labeled it the Great Commandment.
“And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And 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 great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.””
~ Matthew 22:35-40
Once again, Jesus’ heart is revealed – He is all about relationships. The religious leader asks about Laws – Jesus responds with relationship building being what the Law is intended to lead us toward.
Today’s Good News, is Jesus isn’t really interested in how well we keep the Law – He already knows we’ve failed miserably. What He wants us to know is that what’s most important is loving God with all that we are and loving the people around us.
I will take this one step further – when we love the people around us, we reveal how much we love God.
Surprise, surprise, we’re back to seeing community as foundational to living the life Jesus has made possible for us. So, as we live out the remainder of this week, let’s look for ways to connect with the people around us – and love them. This is what it’s all about – and that’s Good News!
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