October 24, 1999

Matthew 22:34-46

After Jesus had made the Sadducees look foolish, the Pharisees heard about it and got together. One of them was an expert in the Jewish Law. So he tried to test Jesus by asking, "Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?"

Jesus answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.' This is the first and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, 'Love others as much as you love yourself.' All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments."

While the Pharisees were still there, Jesus asked them, "What do you think about the Messiah? Whose family will he come from?"

They answered, "He will be a son of King David."

Jesus replied, "How then could the Spirit have David call the Messiah his Lord? David said,
     'The Lord said to my Lord:
     Sit at my right side
     until I make your enemies
     into a footstool for you.'
If David called the Messiah his Lord, how can the Messiah be a son of King David?" No one was able to give Jesus an answer, and from that day on, no one dared ask him any more questions. [CEV]


1. Since the cleansing of the Temple in the previous chapter there have been a series of questions intended to trap. We still ask questions for this purpose, not waiting for an answer, but to "catch" someone in an inconsistency or with a perspective contrary to the commonly held standard answer. We also ask questions when we are not confident enough to make a statement of an idea. Questions mark out the history of humankind. The one who controls the questions gets to control everything else. You might at this point try to formulate what you think is the biggest question needed to be faced by your family/church/community and what is the most difficult question for you to respond to. Between these two poles you will find new life, reinvigoration, resurrection.

2. Do you agree with Jesus that the key concept of a holy or whole life is one of attempting to intersect two concepts -- G*O*D and neighbor? Which pole gives you the most difficulty?

3. In physics the gift of light comes as both wave and particle. Its nature is both. Is this like G*O*D (wave) and neighbor (particle)? Is this like John Wesley's emphasis upon the pairing of "works of piety" (G*O*D/wave) and "works of mercy (neighbor/particle)? How would you put it? What frame of reference helps you to hear the bothness of life?
     Can you catch a glimpse of how finally seeing light as both wave and particle leads to better science? Can you catch a glimpse of how finally seeing life as both G*O*D and neighbor leads to better religion?

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