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Proper Priorities

Notes & Transcripts

1) 8-16-09…AM…SBC     2)

“Proper Priorities”

Mark 12:28-34

Introduction:

1-      This incredible text comes at the hand of God’s providence – VBS Theme and Lesson 2a in Lamplighters

2-      I believe that God has an important reason from drawing to these principles for the 3rd time in 7 days

3-      All of God’s Word is obviously important but when he chooses by His Superior plan for us to learn and relearn a lesson, we better not only listen, maybe even take notes, but we surely better put it into practice

Prayer—this text is familiar—grip us anew with this text—don’t allow this familiar text to blind us from what you are trying to teach us—grip our hearts with the impact of this text—allow our love for one another to flow out of an intense, fiery love for you—Amen

Situation:  Conversation cont.—Jesus is still walking in the Temple the day after the Temple Cleansing & Fig Tree

·         Scribe approaches (v28)– OT transcriber/secretary—NT experts in knowing all Jewish religious literature

·         Upon hearing this dispute and Jesus’ judicious response he brought to Jesus a questions of his own

·         He along with his amigos from 12:13 and Matt. 22:34 – the lawyers motive was also to test Jesus

·         His question put Jesus right into the middle of a debate that had been raging in religious circles

 

-          The rabbis had determined that there were 613 commands in the Pentateuch, one for each letter of the 10 com[1]

-          Of the 613 commandments, 248 were seen as positive and 365 as negative.[2]

-          Those laws were also divided into heavy and light categories, with the heavy laws being more binding[3]

-          The scribes and rabbis, however, had been unable to agree on which were heavy and which were light.[4]

-          The Pharisees asked this particular question to get Jesus to incriminate Himself by revealing His unorthodox and unilateral beliefs.[5]

Transition:  Jesus’ response comes in 4 familiar, but extremely powerful verses.  And He says…

1)    Priority #1 – Love God               v37-38

A – Jesus responds with words that were recognizable for all Jewish people – The Great Shema


Deuteronomy 6:4-5                                 Hear O Israel = I pledge allegiance to the flag

  • In Deuteronomy, Moses is not simply explaining what the laws of God are, but he is earnestly enjoining them upon the consciences of his people, and urging them to take with utmost seriousness God’s call to a holy life.[6]
  • The Great Shema (explain Hebrew) is the purpose statement of Israel’s religion – Confession of Faith
  • This confession of faith was so important that it was to flood every aspect of their lives
  • “To hear,” contextually, is equivalent to “to obey,” especially in covenant contexts such as this. That is, to hear God without putting into effect the command is not to hear him at all. [7]

B-    The phrase with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength is a way of saying the whole person.[8] – don’t over analyze – Jesus used slightly different terms

Application: The whole duty of man, the whole moral-spiritual law, can be summed up in one word: love.[9]–love for q

2)  Priority #2 – Love Others         v39

A-    Jesus took the Pharisees’ question one step further by identifying the second greatest commandment because it was critical to an understanding of the complete duty of love.[10]

1-      This commandment, also from the books of Moses (Lev. 19:18)[11] – Jews didn’t extend love very far

2-      Most significant was that Jesus defined neighbor as anyone in need – The Good Samaritan

3-      Genuine love for God is followed in importance by a genuine love for people[12]

B-    The second commandment resembles the first in this respect: both require love. [13]

1-      love toward the neighbor (generic term), who is God’s image bearer, flows forth from love toward God (I John 4:20, 21; cf. Matt. 5:43; 7:12; 19:19).[14]

2-      Jesus showed that it was impossible to really love God without loving neighbors. Love for God is expressed by loving others.[15]

C-    Love them as your love yourself              

1-      The love a person has naturally for himself is not to focus solely on himself—a constant tendency—but should be directed equally toward others.[16]

2-      The statement “as yourself” does not justify the self-love advocated by modern psychology as necessary for a healthy self-image. It merely acknowledges that human beings do love themselves—far too much in fact—and that God deserves as much—actually far more.[17]

Conclusion/Application:

Ø      v31b is the impact that these two priorities had on the rest of God’s revelation

Ø      Jesus taught that all the Old Testament develops and amplifies these two points:[18]

Ø      These two commands are like two nails on the wall of the universe and everything hangs on them

Ø      If these nails give, everything else falls – this means that this text is big

Ø      The greatest venture that we can be about is not…

 

Evangelism—Doctrinal Purity—Discipleship Making—Biblical Parenting—Sufficiency of Scripture—etc.

Love for God                         If the second priority hinges on the first priority then we better get that one right

 

Ø      In Jn 4 the Samaritan woman raised the issue of where people ought to worship – Jesus responded by saying that where you worship doesn’t compare to the issue of how and whom you worship

Ø      When we consider our love for God we enter into a discussion on worship

Ø      it is not enough for God’s people simply to go through certain motions in their life and worship. Rather, they must truly love God, and devote their whole lives to him[19]

1-      Our love for God (worship) must be vital and real in our heart – it must rest on the truth of who God is

2-      A person who loves God will be found with a love for the Bible – this becomes a place to meet God

3-      Tozer – “Worship seeks union with its beloved, and an active effort to close the gap between the heart and the God it adores is worship at its best.”                                                        Longing for chocolate – fat pastor

4-      Your love for God will best be realized in your longing for God      Ps 42:1-2         Ps 73:25-26     Ps 63:1

5-      We must not be concerned about working for God until we have learned to long for God

6-      Love for God is real when Christ stands all by Himself in our hearts – application to SBC

Love for Others

Ø      Jesus placed love for God at the heart of the law; love for our neighbor should and will spring naturally from this as a consequence. If we try to put love of neighbor first or, worse still, leave out the love for God altogether, we shall make shipwreck of our lives and fail even to love our neighbor as we should. On the other hand, if we say that we love God, and do not love our neighbor, we are hypocrites (1 Jn. 4:20). [20]

Ø      The most visible representation of our love for God will be seen in our love for others – not just some but all

1-      Do people in this congregation know that you love them or are you just someone they go to church with?

2-      I believe that Jesus teaches in this passage that if there is someway that we can justify distancing ourselves from people then we better evaluate our love for God because the two must go together

3-      How much hospitality do we as a church have with each other?  How often are we getting together outside of these walls to show love to one another and fellowship over the greatness of God

  • don’t use an excuse – no $--home is small—don’t have a couch—no dishwasher—remodeling project—not good at it—it’s been a long week and I’m tired

4-      A Christian who has an sincere longing to know God will find a way past the excuses and find a way to show love to his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ

5-      If you don’t like people – see Priority #1

 

Take some time today to see if your world is out of balance by wrong priorities.


----

[1]MacArthur, John Jr: The MacArthur Study Bible. electronic ed. Nashville : Word Pub., 1997, c1997, S. Mk 12:28

[2]MacArthur, John Jr: The MacArthur Study Bible. electronic ed. Nashville : Word Pub., 1997, c1997, S. Mk 12:28

[3]MacArthur, John Jr: The MacArthur Study Bible. electronic ed. Nashville : Word Pub., 1997, c1997, S. Mk 12:28

[4]MacArthur, John Jr: The MacArthur Study Bible. electronic ed. Nashville : Word Pub., 1997, c1997, S. Mk 12:28

[5]MacArthur, John Jr: The MacArthur Study Bible. electronic ed. Nashville : Word Pub., 1997, c1997, S. Mk 12:28

[6]Archer, Gleason Leonard: A Survey of Old Testament Introduction. 3rd. ed.]. Chicago : Moody Press, 1998, c1994, S. 272

[7]Merrill, Eugene H.: Deuteronomy. electronic ed. Nashville : Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1994 (Logos Library System; The New American Commentary 4), S. 162

[8]Carson, D. A.: New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition. 4th ed. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA : Inter-Varsity Press, 1994, S. Dt 6:1

[9]Hendriksen, William ; Kistemaker, Simon J.: New Testament Commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to Mark. Grand Rapids : Baker Book House, 1953-2001 (New Testament Commentary 10), S. 492

[10]MacArthur, John Jr: The MacArthur Study Bible. electronic ed. Nashville : Word Pub., 1997, c1997, S. Mk 12:31

[11]MacArthur, John Jr: The MacArthur Study Bible. electronic ed. Nashville : Word Pub., 1997, c1997, S. Mk 12:31

[12]MacArthur, John Jr: The MacArthur Study Bible. electronic ed. Nashville : Word Pub., 1997, c1997, S. Mk 12:31

[13]Hendriksen, William ; Kistemaker, Simon J.: New Testament Commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to Mark. Grand Rapids : Baker Book House, 1953-2001 (New Testament Commentary 10), S. 494

[14]Hendriksen, William ; Kistemaker, Simon J.: New Testament Commentary : Exposition of the Gospel According to Mark. Grand Rapids : Baker Book House, 1953-2001 (New Testament Commentary 10), S. 494

[15]Brooks, James A.: Mark. electronic e. Nashville : Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991 (Logos Library System; The New American Commentary 23), S. 198

[16]Walvoord, John F. ; Zuck, Roy B. ; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983-c1985, S. 2:164

[17]Brooks, James A.: Mark. electronic e. Nashville : Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1991 (Logos Library System; The New American Commentary 23), S. 198

[18]Walvoord, John F. ; Zuck, Roy B. ; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983-c1985, S. 2:73

[19]Carson, D. A.: New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition. 4th ed. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA : Inter-Varsity Press, 1994, S. Dt 6:1

[20]Carson, D. A.: New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition. 4th ed. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA : Inter-Varsity Press, 1994, S. Mk 12:28

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