I love this verse it always makes me think back to my Hebrew classes at Asbury, and when we learned the Shema. The Shema was one of two prayers that every good Jew would recite and was to know by heart, they would say it upon waking in the morning, and before going to sleep at night. It comes from Deuteronomy 6:4-9:
Sh’ma Yisra’eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.
V’ahav’ta eit Adonai Elohekha b’khol l’vav’kha uv’khol naf’sh’kha uv’khol m’odekha.
V’hayu had’varim ha’eileh asher anokhi m’tzav’kha hayom al l’vavekha.
V’shinan’tam l’vanekha v’dibar’ta bam
b’shiv’t’kha b’veitekha uv’lekh’t’kha vaderekh uv’shakh’b’kha uv’kumekha
Uk’shar’tam l’ot al yadekha v’hayu l’totafot bein einekha.
Ukh’tav’tam al m’zuzot beitekha uvish’arekha
or if you like English better:
‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
Impress them on your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road,
when you lie down and when you get up.
Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. ‘
When you understand how important these words were to the Jewish people, it makes it even more amazing at what Jesus was telling the pharisees in this moment. In an attempt to try to catch Jesus blaspheming, the pharisees want to know what the most important commandment is, and Jesus fires back with something they had repeated since they were children. He’s basically telling them, you’ve had the knowledge you need all along, its right in front of you, this is what is most important.
I sometimes wonder how often he tells us the same thing when we come to him in prayer and ask him to fix something. And he is screaming out from Heaven, you already have the resources if you would just believe. You already have the resources if you would just hold on to it.
Could that be true for you life? Could he have already given you the resources you need to make it through this difficult season of your life? How do you hold on to it this morning? Can you believe in His word today?