The Most Important Commandment
34The Pharisees heard that the Sadducees weren’t able to answer Jesus. So the Pharisees got together .35One of them was an authority on the law. So he tested Jesus with a question. 36“Teacher,” he asked, “which is the most important commandment in the Law?”
37Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.’ (Deuteronomy 6:5) 38This is the first and most important commandment. 39And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18) 40Everything that is written in the Law and the Prophets is based on these two commandments.”
Supplies: "The Ten Commandment Boogie" by Go Fish can be found on YouTube. Familiarize yourself with the song and the beat before this message. Or create an appropriate Ten Commandment paraphrasing of your own.
Have you ever heard the song “The Ten Commandment Boogie” by Go Fish? God spoke to Moses and gave him instructions to teach the people of Israel. These instructions, or commandments, helped them to live right. The Ten Commandments are all about how we act with God and with one another.
Listen to the lyrics of the song; and as I read them, count on your fingers with me. Let’s begin with two closed fists in the air. As I read a number, hold up one finger. Ready?
Number one - no other God but the One who is true
Don't worship any other, that's commandment two.
Number three- use the name of God only with respect
Number Four - on Sunday take a rest
The first four teach us how to love and honor God. But God wants us to love and honor other people too. The remaining commandments teach us the best ways to do that. Treating one another in these ways helps us to live together in peace.
We're halfway through with one that's just for you - Listen to your mom and dad 'cause what they say you gotta do.
Number six don't ever take somebody's life
Seven feels like heaven but only with your husband or wife
Number eight is great along with number nine - don't steal from others and don't ever lie
And if your friend has something that you think is cool, don't ever wish that it was yours and that's the final rule.
The commandments are mentioned other places in the Bible as well. When the Israelites received these instructions from God, they felt special. They were honored that God would trust them with these instructions and help them please God. Which instruction do you think is the greatest and most important?
The Pharisees used that same question to test Jesus. The Pharisees were a group of people who went to church a lot but weren’t very loving. They were always trying to trap Jesus with his answers to their religious questions. They asked Jesus, “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law?”37 Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.’ (Deuteronomy 6:5) 38This is the first and most important commandment. 39And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18) 40Everything that is written in the Law and the Prophets is based on these two commandments.”
Love God and love others. The Scripture tells us to love God, know God, and act the way God wants. We can’t do one without doing the other two. In fact, if we do all three, it becomes hard to tell where loving stops and doing things for others begins. Our actions demonstrate love to one another. How can you show love to someone else with your actions?
For our prayer, I want everyone to put up their ten fingers. What do you think the ten fingers mean? That’s right: The Ten Commandments, God’s instructions on how we should live. Now hold your palms so that they are facing you. Cross your hands on your chest. That is the American Sign Language symbol for love. The Ten Commandments are based on loving God and loving one another. If we truly love God, then we will follow all the commandments.
Prayer: Loving and gracious God, thank you for your set of rules—rules that are based on loving you and respecting others. Help us to keep all your commandments out of love for you. Amen.