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Teacher – Matthew 22:34-38

by Jay Richiuso


     Many of us who have been called to Jesus were, prior to this calling, searching for the answer as to why we are here on this earth.  What is our purpose?  Is there a purpose?  Are we just a cosmic accident?  Or is there indeed a reason why we are here.

     In our searching and as we learned about life we asked ourselves many questions:  Are we to use our talents and abilities to do great things?  Are we to become so famous and important that our names will be recorded in history?  Are we to amass great riches so that we can live a life of comfort and ease above and apart from the rest of humanity?  Or are we to just float through life like a prodigal doing what we think is right at the time?

       In the four gospels it is counted that Jesus is referred to as “teacher” or “rabbi” 45 times.1  Indeed, Jesus has been called the greatest of all moral philosophers and His instructions for how to get along with our neighbors are the basis not only for Christians, but for others as well.

     But among all that Jesus taught, I believe that His greatest teaching is that He answered for those of us who want to know, what the real reason is as to why we are here on this earth.

     In Matthew 22: 34-38, it is told that Jesus was tested by a Pharisee who was an expert in the law.  He was trying to get Jesus to name the ONE commandment that he could keep with the idea that all the other commandments could be regarded as of no real importance, and thus not a problem if not kept.  Jesus’ answer to the Pharisee is found in verses 37-38:  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.”

       As I thought, prayed, and meditated on Jesus’ answer I came to realize that this is THE reason we are on this earth:  We are created to obey, serve, honor, and glorify God our Father and Creator with every fiber of our being.  Any other objective, purpose, or intent avails us nothing.2

  1. In Matthew and Mark 12 times each; in Luke 15 times; and in John 6 times.
  2. Ecclesiastes 1: 1-2.  Solomon, who lived life as we would say, “to the fullest,” tells us that “all

     is vanity” and in some translations, “all is meaningless.”

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