In the Wilderness: Exodus 20

God gives Moses the “Big Ten” in Exodus 20. (Read about them by clicking on the link.)

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22:36-40

Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law, He came to complete it. He came to finish what began in the beginning. The leaders were scheming, hoping to catch Jesus in some sort of warped belief or teaching. Hoping Jesus would somehow speak against God’s law. Yes, there were ten commandments given in Exodus. Yes, Jesus gave only two. But Jesus doesn’t change the law. Instead He reveals the heart of the law.

Let me show you.

Jesus said love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. The first four commandments tell us exactly how to do just that. Loving God means we should never place our faith or trust in any other God (Exodus 20:3). It means no idols and no taking the Lord’s name in vain (Exodus 20:4-7). Loving God means setting apart time to be with Him, observing the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11).

Then Jesus said love your neighbor as yourself. When we read the rest of the commandments we see specific ways to love others. Honoring our parents, don’t kill, stay faithful to the one you married, don’t steal or lie or want what someone else has (Exodus 20:12-17).

God’s people have a knack for taking the heart out of the law because it is easier to try and follow a list of rules than love. Love takes sacrifice… the laying down of ourselves for God… for others. Love is hard, emotional, and risky. Jesus reveals to us the heart of the law. It is never based on the doing, but the loving.

It’s Friday, and we have an entire weekend to consider the way we love God and others. Take notice of the way you love in the next two days. Are you obeying the heart of His law?

Lord, show me Your way; the way of love, not rules.
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