Derek Smith 

Lead Pastor 

Matthew 22:37-40

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.”

The Pharisees were the world’s best at creating unnecessary drama. They accused, condemned, judged, and chided Jesus continually for what he was doing wrong. He didn’t agree with their doctrine. He didn’t wear the right clothes for a rabbi. He hung out with the wrong people. His ministry philosophy wasn’t like theirs, and on and on it went. It was one thing after another. Jesus never could please these guys. When asked by them what was most important in life He responded with a daily recitation of the Hebrew people, the Shema from Deuteronomy 6. It was something they had learned to quote as young children. Just love God and love people. He answered their drama by saying in essence, “Guys, just stick to the stuff. Remember what truly matters. Get off your high horse and just love God and love people. Life is all about these two things.” 

It seems as though drama just follows some people, and if truth be told it is probably because they think a little too highly of themselves. If other people constantly have to meet your expectations, agree with your presuppositions, and appease your sensitivities it is not the other people who are the problem. In the words of Jesus, the greatest commands in the Bible are simply this: love God and love people. Just stick to the stuff. Don’t create drama, cut it with the love of God. Put people at ease in your presence, and put God’s Kingdom agenda before your own. Serve others in Jesus name and put their interests before yourself. Standing for Christ is hard enough in this culture, the last thing we need to do is make things hard on fellow brothers or sisters in Christ. So today, don’t be a Pharisee.  Just stick to the stuff. Love God and love people. If you do, you will be so much happier and more influential in the lives of others.