- Matthew 22: 36-40
Following a grueling day at the Temple following His triumphant arrival in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, Jesus visited the Temple and protested vigorously against the financial transactions of the money changers in God's House. He argued with the Chief Priests and they listened carefully as they were trying to identify statements that could be used to arrest Him. But He outsmarted them that day, avoiding direct remarks which they could use since He knew that although the moment for His death was drawing near, it wasn't quite time. And the Rabbis didn't want to create a stir in front of the crowds since the attention might gain more support for Jesus.
On the next day, Tuesday, Jesus announced the day of His execution, shocking all with His understanding of what would happen even if most didn't fully understand the gravity of his statement. He debated the Jewish leaders who marveled at His reasoning since in their minds he was just a lowly carpenter. It was then that he was asked the question in the scripture above where his focus was not about worrying over those things that we can't do but focusing instead on what we can do. He basically was saying that if we love God and our neighbor with all of our heart, then we will naturally obey the Ten Commandments, the Law of God from the Old Testament. And, of course, the Elders had no idea that in His actions and words He was establishing the basis for the New Testament, a new covenant with God for all people, not just the Jews.
The day was a time when the Elders could see the charisma of Jesus and why so many listened to Him and they had to grudgingly admire Him even though they would soon destroy Him. What if they had turned their efforts to opening their hearts to His message and believing instead of maintaining their constant effort to retain their power and prestige? But, then again, had they done that, Jesus would have not been able to fulfill His purpose on this earth. So the plan of God continued onward toward the horrible day that would soon follow and the pain and agony He would suffer for all of us.
Be thankful, Christians, for what He did and use his sacrifice as a remembrance of why we must never forget who He is and what Glory awaits us if we truly believe. Have a wonderful day and keep Holy Week truly Holy.
Hat tip to JesusCentral.com