Mark 12:28-34; Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:35-37; Matthew 22:41-46; Luke 20:41-44; Mark 12:38-40; Matthew 23:1-12; Luke 20:45-47; Matthew 23:13-39; Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4
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Matthew: If you are into memorizing Scripture at all, Jesus' teaching Matthew chapter 22 verses 37-40 is certainly worth memorizing! "`You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: `Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."" So, I think it is fair to say that if you learn nothing else this year in the One Year Bible, please at least learn these 3 verses above. :) However - I am quite sure you will learn these 3 verses and so much more this year! Then, of course, to take things beyond just learning - we need to be applying the learnings from the Bible this year in our lives. How about these two commandments from Jesus above - think you've learned them? Now, can you practice applying them to your life each and every day? How will you go about doing this? How will you love God with all your heart, soul, and mind? How will you love your neighbor? Commentary on verse 39 entitled, "Is Self-Love Biblical?" is online at bible.org at this link.
In Matthew 22 verse 44 Jesus quotes and teaches from Psalm 110. An interesting trivia note is that Psalm 110 is the most frequently quoted Old Testament chapter in the New Testament. Must be an important Psalm, eh? It's a surprisingly short Psalm I think, in light of this trivia note. We'll read this Psalm later this year - or you can read it now at this link.
Matthew chapter 23 verse 5 is referring to exaggerated phylacteries: "Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear extra long tassels on their robes." From bible-history.com - "Phylacteries (tephillin) are strips of leather to which is attached a very strong, square box made of parchment and painted black. The box contains four parts of the Torah written on parchment: Exodus 13:1-10 and 13:11-16; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13-21. According to Deut 6:4-9 two phylacteries were used, one for the head and one for the arm. These (called frontlets in Deuteronomy) were put on in such a way that one box rested on the head, between the eyes (seat of the mind) and the other on the left arm opposite the heart (seat of the actions and the emotions, denoting that one loves the Lord with one's heart)." This definition and a good picture of what phylacteries look like is at bible-history.com at this link. And another image is here:
Today in Matthew 23 we read Jesus' "Woe to you!" warnings and teachings. Verses 25 & 26 stood out to me today: ""How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! You are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy--full of greed and self-indulgence! Blind Pharisees! First wash the inside of the cup, and then the outside will become clean, too." These verses reminded me a lot of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus very clearly goes to the heart of the matter with many of the Laws. These verses are such a strong reminder for us to guard our hearts - and what we let into our hearts - and the condition of our hearts. Because Jesus is much more concerned about the condition of our hearts than the condition of our skin. He wants to heal us from the inside out. How is the condition of your heart today? Will you allow Jesus to heal your heart? To heal you from the inside out? Where will you find true inner peace to heal you from the inside out?
Worship God: Today's readings in Matthew about the great commandments reminds me of the beautiful Chris Tomlin song "Praise the Father:"
Do you Praise the Father? Click here and Praise the Son!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on five verses of Scripture today: ""Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."" Matthew 22:36-40 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you would love God with all of your heart, soul and mind each and every day. Pray that you would love your neighbor as yourself.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!