Relentless Day 15 Everyday Idols: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
Check out Everyday Idols!

The Questions

1) How do these two commands sum up the entire law and the prophets from the Old Testament?

2) How do these two commands tie to the original Ten Commandments from Exodus 20?

3) Why was it important for Jesus to note that the first commandment was the “greatest and most important”? (verse 38)

Matthew 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test him: “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?”

He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”

Original Intent

1) How do these two commands sum up the entire law and the prophets from the Old Testament?
There were many laws for Jews of the Old Testament. The 10 Commandments are the most commonly known, but there were also 603 additional laws given to Moses on Mount Sinai at the same time as the 10 Commandments. These other commands included laws on how to act towards other nations, have good hygiene, how, when, and why to sacrifice to God, and how to keep themselves separate from the nations around them. These laws were all given for the distinct purpose of Israel being known as a holy, set apart, nation intended to bring God glory and reflect His holiness (Leviticus 19:2). (you can read about these laws mainly in the Bible books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers) Everything about Israel was to be different than the nations around them, not because they themselves were special, but because Yahweh was their God. (Deuteronomy 7:6-8) Perhaps their two biggest distinctions from other nations were in how they treated God and others, which is why this summarizing law from Jesus can encompass all other commands from the Old Testament.

2) How do these two commands tie to the original Ten Commandments from Exodus 20?
Even the 10 Commandments themselves can be divided into the two relationship categories with commands 1-4 focusing on the relationship between God and mankind and commands 5-10 centering on human relationships. Because of these two major hinge points in how Israel was to treat God and one another, Jesus ties this familiar Old Testament idea with His summation to love God with everything we are and all we have, and love others as much as we love ourselves and want ourselves to succeed. The Pharisees added scores of other rules (Mark 7:1-8) as an extra “hedge” around God’s laws to ensure that no one even came close to disobeying God, but none of them emphasized love and they ended up missed the point entirely. God has no interest in making us have the appearance of being “righteous” by dressing up a heart on the outside that does not actually love on the inside. When God gave Israel the 10 Commandments, His intention was not to expect perfection, rather it was to point them to the reality they could never be perfect. What they most needed was a love they could never manufacture on their own. They needed a Perfect Love (Jesus) capable of rescuing them from themselves.

3) Why was it important for Jesus to note that the first commandment was the “greatest and most important”? (verse 38)
It would be ludicrous to try to build the frame of a house without first clearing ground and ensuring the ground was even, solid, and able to hold up the house without shifting. No matter how aesthetically pleasing the outside of the house was or how beautifully designed it was inside, if the foundation wasn’t stable, it would only be a matter of time before the house crumbled into ruin. The same is true for this first commandment from Jesus. It doesn’t matter how many of the other 613 rules the Jews could check off and prove they followed day in and day out if those actions did not flow from a heart-love for God as first priority. This love for God could not simply be lip service; rather, it was necessary for this love to be all-consuming, saturating everything about their lives. If this love did not hold sway over every single other aspect of their everyday lives and decisions, from big ones to small ones, none of it mattered. You have no reason to not lie if you do not love God more than your desire to protect yourself. “Not lying” just becomes another thing to do and another checklist to mark off and measure success and self-righteousness. Jesus says success is only measured by how much you love God first and others second. Nothing else matters.

Everyday Application

1) How do these two commands sum up the entire law and the prophets from the Old Testament?
At the very core of following God and living for Him is not a bunch of legalistic, binding laws, rather it is love. When we break one of God’s commands, it is a direct result of not loving either God or one another. When I steal a printer paper from work, I’m not acting in love because I am puffing up myself. When I covet my neighbor’s house or car, I’m not loving them because I am blinded by what I want. Selfishness and pride quickly destroy any act of love because I only care about myself. Likewise, when I choose to devote my worship to an idol, (yes, we still have those today!) I am no longer loving God. Amidst the 613 Old Testament commands, this command from Jesus shows up almost verbatim in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, “Hear O Israel, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” This one command was an anchor command for the Jews of the Old Testament. It was included in the Shema, a central portion of both morning and evening traditional Jewish prayers and was also recited at holy festivals as part of worship. The command Jesus picked to sum up every single one of the 613 Old Testament laws was not haphazard or random. It was central to Jewish worship and pointed to the God’s most central character description, love.  

2) How do these two commands tie to the original Ten Commandments from Exodus 20?
Even when Jesus summed up the entire 613 laws from the Old Testament in loving the Lord God with all we have and all we are, and loving our neighbor as much as we love and care for ourselves, we still fail. Even keeping 1 commandment perfectly without fault is utterly impossible without Jesus’ Spirit living, moving, and breathing within a heart that has been made new with Christ’s redemption. And even then, we still sometimes choose to love our sinful ways over God’s design which results in sin. Both the Law of Moses, and the summarizing law of Jesus to love, teach us one thing, we cannot keep any law of God on our own strength or willpower. We are forever lost in our sin, never able to attain to a righteous standing before God, all on our own. We will always fail. Which means there is only one solution, a flawless One living our life, but doing it perfectly, and then taking the punishment we deserve on Himself. This is the gospel!! This is exactly what God did through Jesus as God took on human flesh, lived out our everyday life while being wholly righteous. Then, Jesus willingly surrendered Himself to die in our place and take God’s wrath intended for us upon Himself. Then, in radical love, He offered His righteousness to each of us in exchange for us giving up our sin. Astounding! He demonstrates relentless love as He pursues you and me again and again to hold out this offer of love despite how we choose sin and reject Him on repeat. No matter how many times we choose our idols over God, He will still pursue us to offer His love in forgiveness and mercy.

3) Why was it important for Jesus to note that the first commandment was the “greatest and most important”? (verse 38)
Every day, no, every moment, the Christ-follower has a decision to make. Worship the God he or she claims to love, or worship an idol he or she has crafted with hands or hearts. Without making this decision first, every other decision we make and all the ways we try to be successful in following God will fail. Later in Jesus’ ministry He wrapped this command with deeper meaning in saying, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another:  just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) If the other summarizing command did not pointedly illuminate the truth that no obedience to any of God’s commands is possible to do on our own, this command makes it infinitely more clear. Not only does Jesus say we are to love God and love others, but we are to love others just as He loved us. How did He love us? By sacrificing Himself for us. There is no greater love! We are to love others, all others, with this same self-sacrificing love Jesus lived out. Gut punch, right? A million excuses as to why we can’t and who we won’t love like that start popping up inside, making it abundantly clear, we cannot love like this without Jesus’ Spirit living inside of us. When we ask Jesus to be our Savior, He puts His Spirit to live within us, giving us total access to loving God and others just as He does, but the choice to submit to that power is still ours, even after asking Jesus to rescue us. The choice boils down to who we will worship in our hearts: God or Self. Who will you love first?!

What do YOU think?! Share Here!
Missing the connection to our other Journey Study today?
Catch up with Everyday Idols!

Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

Digging Deeper Community

Share What You’ve Learned!
Pray Together!
Join us in the GT Facebook Community!

Our Current Study Theme!

This is Relentless Week Three!
Don’t miss out on the discussion!
Sign up
to receive every GT Journey Study!

Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

Memorize It!

Download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!
Tap and hold on your mobile device to save.