Nov 5, 2017
As all know from Matthew 22:35-40 and Mark 12:28-34, when asked which is the great commandment, Jesus responded with two: 1) “Hear, O Israel, the Lord is One, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might,” and 2) "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
In our three sessions, we’ll explore these two great commandments - what they might mean in the Bible and what they might mean in our lives. The Hebrew Bible helps us considerably in this exercise in that there are other related verses that give us an exciting and richer understanding of the meaning of the two great commandments. Jesus clearly knew about and considered these other verses and commandments in this teaching. So should we!
The titles of the three sessions are: 1) A Deeper Look at the Golden Rule, 2) What Does It Mean to Love God?, and 3) If We Love God, What Should We NOT Do?
In preparation for class this Sunday, you are encouraged to read the following verses:
A. Leviticus 19:18 - the second great commandment
B. Leviticus 19:16 - against hating another in one’s heart but calling us to reprove lovingly
C. Leviticus 19:16 - teaching against slander
D. Leviticus 28:14 - teaching against insulting the deaf or putting obstacles in the way of the blind
E. Deuteronomy 5:21 - teaching against coveting neighbor’s house, wife, et. al.
F. Leviticus 19:32 - calling us to honor the old and the scholar
G. Leviticus 19:36 - calling us to keep and use honest weights
H. Exodus 23:5 - calling us to return neighbor’s lost ox/donkey
I. Leviticus 23:22 - calling us to leave corners of the field for the poor
J. 1) Deuteronomy 10:20 - calling us to love the stranger
2) Deuteronomy 20:19 - teaching against destroying fruit bearing trees in war
3) Deuteronomy 25:4 - teaching against muzzling an ox while it is treading grain
As we consider all these “supportive” commandments, the principal issues to be considered will be: the virtues they teach that are important in the conduct of our lives, and how they enrich our understanding of the Golden Rule.