love God, love people
Our youth group has a catch phrase; Simple! We are called the Simple Student Ministry. We’re called that because what we are about is simple. It’s in our mission statement; love God. love people. That’s simple right? Just two things, love God and love people! That’s what everything boils down to! The whole Bible, these are God’s instructions to us from the whole Bible!
The verses that are like our official verses are
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. “The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these.”
This is Jesus speaking here. A scribe, or an expert in the Scripture, asked him the most important commandment and Jesus answered him this way.
We’re going to look in the book of
This isn’t the only place this phrase is used though. It’s also in Matthew and Luke, and it comes originally from the Old Testament. We’re going to look at it in Luke, and focus more on the loving people part of it.
What we’re going to see tonight is that loving others is based on who God is, not who we are.
Set the scene
Set the scene
Jesus is hanging out with his disciples, they’re probably in a public place and an expert in the wants to see if he can make himself look good. Bad call man.
Read and explain verses 25-28.
This comes from something the Israelites called the Shema. It comes from the book of Deuteronomy.
“Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
We have to love God with everything we are. Not just parts, but everything. Our thoughts, our emotions, our abilities, our physical efforts; every part of who we are has to love Him.
What’s that look like?
Right after Moses tells the people to love God, he tells them to know his commandments and live by them.
Another important person said the same thing a few thousand years later
“If you love Me, you will keep My commands.
Keeping this command means you love him more than your friends. More than your sport. Even more than your family. It means you are obedient to his instruction. Even when it’s difficult. Even when it means we miss out on something. Even when we don’t want to.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself.”
“Love your neighbor as yourself” comes from
Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am Yahweh.
So Yahweh is God’s name, if you didn’t know. When Moses was at the burning bush and asked God who he she tell the people of Israel he was sent by, God’s response was “Yahweh”, which is a Hebrew phrase that translates basically to I am.
That’s just fun, extra information for free!
The interesting thing here to me is that God tells his people to love each other as they love themselves, then reminds them who He is.
Why do you think He does that?
It’s because our love for each other, if it’s going to be what it should be, has to come from our love for God. It has to grow out of and be because of our love for God!
How are we supposed to love others if we are supposed to love God with all that we are? When we love God with all we’ve got, He gives us what we need to love others. He makes us more like Him, and He loves the world! Remember a Bible verse like that?
Being able to love others after loving God with everything is kind of like having a bunch of kids. We can speak authoritatively on this topic. So most parents talk about when they’re getting ready to have another kid that they are worried they won’t love the new one like the ones they already have. We talked about this when we started talking about having a second child. We loved Parker so much and we were really worried that when a new kid came into the mix we just wouldn’t have enough left over to love them with. Then Hudson was born and unexplainably this whole new piece of our hearts came out of nowhere so that we could love him just as much as we loved Parker. Then when Dawson was born, the same thing happened again. Somehow, love makes you able to love more.
When we love God with all we’ve got, more love comes out of nowhere so that we can love others as we love ourselves. Love others with the love that God shows to us.
But we still try to be selfish with that love. This expert in the law that was trying to catch Jesus tripping shows us that.
Read and explain verses 29-37
So the Samaritan makes the Jewish elites look bad by obeying the law better than them. Then he just straight embarrasses them by the lengths he goes to in caring for the man. He wasn’t afraid of getting hurt himself. He wasn’t worried about people seeing him. He was worried about loving the man as he loved himself.
Jesus tells the expert in the law to go and do the same. We are to go and do the same. We can’t think we’re too important. We can’t be worried about being associated with messy people.
We’re messed up too. We’re broken too. So we have to love people the same way Jesus loved us in our messy brokenness!
So sit with the weird kid at lunch. Say hey to the person that everyone stays away from because they have been through some crazy stuff.