The Questioning of Jesus -Day 7 Preparing Your Heart for Easter

Put yourself in Jerusalem on Tuesday of Holy Week, just days before the execution of Jesus. He knew His death and suffering would soon come, even when no one else did. Whippings and thorns were imminent. Hands and feet would be painfully pierced. What a heavy burden He was carrying!

On that Tuesday, Jesus endured intense questioning by the Sadducees and the Pharisees (Matthew 22: 34-46). Keeping in mind that Jesus was 100 percent perfect, 100 percent innocent, and completely aware of His impending crucifixion, we find the absolute perfect Love of our Father and Savior in the response Jesus gracefully gave to their questioning. The setting was like a heated political debate. The Sadducees, the Jews of the highest standing, had pitched Jesus a tricky question. Because Jesus silenced the Sadducees with His pure, accurate, Scripture-based answer, the Pharisees competitively gathered to challenge and interrogate Him.

One of them, an expert in the law, tested Him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Amid this hostile environment, Jesus responded as Matthew 9:36 describes: He saw them and had compassion on them. Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees’ challenge was Love. He told them, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul. This is the first and greatest commandment.” The beauty of Jesus’ answer hits our hearts strongly today. Jesus had to stand in front of hate-filled critics who wanted to trick Him, make Him look foolish, and prove Him wrong. Yet, He answered them with Love. Fast forward to today:

  • In the face of my enemies, would I, and even could I, respond how Jesus did?
  • What will I say next time I have a conflict?
  • Even if I have the mightiest fortitude and reply to opposition lovingly, am I living out what Jesus clearly articulated as the most important thing to do with my life—to love God with all my heart, mind, and soul?

I am humbled. Though Jesus knew they would kill Him, He endured their questioning and arrogance. Yet, surprisingly, He still mercifully emphasized that Love was the greatest commandment. Why? Because He longs for us to love Him. He wants all our affection. He is our Good Father who gave His all for us because He loves us! In Matthew 26:6-13, Jesus told us how to love God well through the story of Mary of Bethany. He said the right choice was to sit at His feet, listen, and be with Him. It’s not about busying ourselves with more service or action as Martha did.

To some, that is a huge relief—following Jesus is not as hard as it might seem. Simply put, Jesus wants a relationship with us! He wants our time and attention devoted to listening to the Holy Spirit’s voice. He wants us to have an open heart to receiving His guidance and following His lead. Indeed, He is looking for us to love Him with all we have because He loves us dearly. Oh, God, break my heart so I may see You rightly, see You for who You truly are, and respond by loving You with my all!

Blessings and Love,

Kristi Valentine & the Help Club for Moms Team

Kristi Valentine

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