“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?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 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. 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.” 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.”
It is Tuesday and just yesterday Jesus walked into the Temple and began flipping the tables of entrepreneurs who were making money in the place of worship for the Gentiles. It is safe to say that this event sparked conversations throughout Jerusalem.
This was another strike against him in the minds of the scribes and Pharisees. This ritualistic leadership of the day knew that Jesus was not good for business and must be dealt with. Various leaders come to Jesus posing theological puzzles intended to catch Jesus in his own words. Some ask him about his “authority.” Others ask him about taxes. Some even get together to question his thoughts on the resurrection, to which Jesus responds, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.” Ouch! Jesus was not responding to some online religious conspiracy theorist. These were the pastors of the day!
Sadly, for the scribes, every attempt to corner Jesus failed and the very people who were leading Israel to worship God were missing the opportunity to truly experience the truth found in him.
Then Luke documents a scribe, which he labels as a lawyer, who upon hearing the bickering of the Pharisees toward Jesus and the wisdom in which he responded asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
To the reader’s surprise Jesus answers the lawyer. No resentment in answering and no coded parable. Why is Jesus all of a sudden being so open and honest with this scribe in contrast with all of the others? The scriptures give us a different persona that this scribe had in his approach to Jesus. He was in no way trying to trap Jesus. He was simply walking by, “and seeing that he answered them well,” wanted to know more about what Jesus thought. In turn a dialogue is struck up that resulted in Jesus saying to this lawyer, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” This lawyer was heading in the right direction to find truth in the Word.
Jesus can answer your questions. From the simple daytime pondering to the deep soul searching; Jesus can answer your questions. However, we must see if our intentions are truly pure when we ask the Designer of the galaxies questions. I am sure no inquiry has caught Him off guard yet.
Talk about it
What are some questions that you have asked God throughout your life? Share and converse.
Caleb Rawls is the pastor at Pleasant Home Baptist Church located in Laurel Mississippi. He and his wife Taylor work lead the church to love God and reach out to their community with the good news. They also have a golden-doodle named Tiglath-Pilesar IIII.