The second talk in our May 2018 series of Women of Wisdom on Why the Greatest Commandments Still Are.
WOMEN OF WISDOM: MAY 2018—Hand Out
Matthew 22:34-40 New International Version (NIV)34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Mark 12:28-34 (NIV)“And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Luke 10:25-28 (NIV) 25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ 26 ‘What is written in the Law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’ 27 He answered, ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”; and, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” 28 ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.’ 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead . . .”
“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul; . . . The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes . . . They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”—Psalm 19:7-11
“It is only necessary to know that love is a direction and not a state of the soul. If one is unaware of this, one falls into despair at the first onslaught of affliction.” —Simone Weil
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”—Hebrews 6:19
These verses might give you a fuller perspective on loving the Lord your God with all your soul: Deuteronomy 4:29; Joshua 22:4; Jeremiah 6:16; Psalm 42:11; Psalm 62:1; Proverbs 16:24; Matthew 16:26; 1Thessalonians 5:23; 3John 1:2; Revelation 6:9.
The two greatest commandments are intricately connected, just as loving the Lord our God with all our heart, SOUL and mind can’t be separated:
What the soul is and how it is used in Scripture:
Loving the Lord your God with all your soul means:
When you love the Lord your God with all your soul, what happens?
- Considering what we have learned this morning, what do you think your reaction/answer to Jesus would be if he asked you, “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul’?
- What are some things people might trade their soul for? How about you? Anything?
- How could viewing people as souls, rather than just people, change the way we see and understand others? How might this affect how we live?
- How is the soul distinct from the body? How is it connected to the heart and mind?
- The translation of the original Greek word for regeneration is “again born”. Share or reflect on the time you became a Christian and your soul was born again. What happened?