Matthew: The Story of the King ~ Part 9 The Simple Truth of the Gospel Matthew 22:34-40 March 3, 2019
I. A STORY and its REPERCUSSIONS. (22:1-36)
A. GOD who WELCOMES. (22:1-2,4)
B. PEOPLE who RESIST. (22:3, 5-36)
C. KNOWLEDGE as a means of CONTROL. (22:15-36)
We often take our text today and divorce it from the context around it. There is a context building toward these two greatest commandments that is very important if we are to get why Jesus says what He does when He does.
1. What questions does the story at the beginning of Matthew 22 raise for you personally?
2. Do you think you are prone to use knowledge and information as a means of control? If so, what does that mean and why do you do it?
II. The CALL to LOVE God. (v.37-38)
A. Our LOVES direct our LIVES. (Prov. 4:23)
B. Our LIVES reveal our LOVES. (Mt. 12:33)
C. Being LOVED leads to LOVING. (I Jn 4:16-19)
The first commandment is something that has been embedded in the Jewish faith for centuries. It comes from Deut. 6:5, a text that faithful Jews would have prayed twice a day. We all know we should love God, but the simplicity of that command and what happens when we do it is actually quite profound.
3. Kid’s Question: How can you know if you love God?
4. Do you agree or disagree that our loves direct our lives? Can you think of exceptions to that rule?
5. What about “Our lives reveal our loves”? What does your life show you about what you love?
6. Who do you struggle the most to love (don’t answer that out loud)? How would growing in love for God help in that area?
III. The CALL to love NEIGHBOUR. (v.39)
A. It’s “LIKE” it because it EXPRESSES it. (v.39)
B. It REVEALS our true LOVE. (I Jn 4:20)
“The second is like it…” What exactly does that mean? It seems like a different command altogether. Loving our neighbour as ourselves is important (and found in the OT too – Lev.19:18) but it’s a different thing than loving God. Or is it?
IV. The HOOKS everything else HANGS on. (v.40)
A. Does my LIFE show LOVE for God? (Prov.20:5)
B. RECEIVING the FULL love of God… (Rom. 5:8)
C. …LEADS to love for EVERYONE… (1 Jn 4:19)
D. …which “FULFILLS” the LAW. (Rom. 13:8-10)
The most astounding statement in the text for me is that “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Really, it all comes down to these two? If that is the truth, and we believe that it is, it means that our faith is quite simple. Easy, no, but simple, yes.
7. On a scale of 1-10 rate yourself at allowing the love of God to penetrate to all areas of your life. Where is it difficult to receive God’s love?
8. If you love God and others will it lead to “fulfilling the law” in your own life? Are there any exceptions? Why or why not?