³⁴ But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. ³⁵ And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ³⁶ “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” ³⁷ 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. ³⁸ This is the great and first commandment. ³⁹ And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. ⁴⁰ On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Applying the text
- Matthew tells us that the question about the greatest commandment was intended to be a test. In what way do you think the lawyer was trying to test Jesus?
- Why do you think Jesus made a distinction between the first and second great commandments? Why is this distinction so important?
- How can understanding our inability to keep this command actually cause us to grow in our love for God?
Call to Worship
¹ In you, O LORD, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me!
² Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me!
³ For you are my rock and my fortress;
and for your name's sake you lead me and guide me;
⁴ you take me out of the net they have hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
⁵ Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.
Prayer of Confession
Merciful God, you pardon all who truly repent and turn to you. We humbly confess our sins and ask your mercy. We have not loved you with a pure heart, nor have we loved our neighbor as ourselves. We have not done justice, loved kindness, or walked humbly with you, our God. Have mercy on us, O God, in your loving-kindness. In your great compassion, cleanse us from our sin. Create in us a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within us. Do not cast us from your presence, or take your Holy Spirit from us. Restore to us the joy of your salvation and sustain us with your bountiful Spirit. Amen.
January Memory Verse
⁹ Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations...
Resources for Parents
Every Sunday, the children's ministry team creates lessons that cover the scripture and concepts from a recent sermon. The teachers ask simple questions to help the kids learn to understand and apply what God says in the Bible.
We want to equip parents to talk to their kids about what they're learning. The following is the content that the children's classes taught this week. We encourage parents to use this resource at home to help you and your kids grow as you learn from God's word together.
Children's Lesson from Sunday, January 5
1 Peter 1:1-12
The Main Point:
God uses hard things to make us more like Jesus.
Vocabulary Word for PreK and Elementary 1 Classes:
Sanctification - The process of becoming less like your old, sinful self and more like perfect Jesus.
Q: What was happening with the churches Peter was writing to?
A: They were having a hard time.
Q: What did Peter tell the churches to do even though they were having a hard time?
Q: What is it called when God changes our hearts to be less like our sinful selves and more like perfect Jesus?
New City Catechism Question #48
What is the Church?
A community elected for eternal life and united by faith, who love, follow, learn from, and worship God together.