Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:19-20 (Part 2)

Matthew 5:19 (ESV) Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

We don’t really know what a least commandment is.  The Pharisees had many different ways of breaking down the Law of Moses into the important and the least important.  Obviously in a later passage Jesus implies that tithing mint, dill, and cumin are a least matter by suggesting the Pharisees should have done the weightier matters.  Yet while we have several references to weightier, greatest and most important, we don’t have Jesus really explaining a “least’ commandment.

Matthew 23:23 (ESV) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.

Matthew 22:37-39 (ESV)
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.

Mark 12:29-31 (ESV)
29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
30 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.’
31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these”

Mark 12:33 (ESV) 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.”

Luke 16:10 (ESV) “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.


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