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regime change and religion

And the scribe said to him [Jesus Christ AD 33 Jerusalem], “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbour as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared ask him any more questions.          Mark 12: 32-34


Religion in Jersey? Yes, indeed. Alive and well. And here is Jesus Christ a day or two before he was crucified as a condemned criminal, answering a religious question.


Did you notice (in bold above) that Jesus said that the Almighty was “one and there is no other besides him”? Religion in Jersey? Religions in Jersey? The God of Israel, the God of the Lord Jesus Christ, God is one and there are no others. None.


Some followers of Jesus may need a regime change if they’ve been thinking that folk in Jersey pursuing other religions are AOK.........


But did you notice something else Jesus said about religion? The Jerusalem scribe – an able man no doubt, and a very wise one – in agreeing and repeating Jesus’ answer had added to what Jesus said was the greatest commandment. He had added that this greatest commandment was “much more than whole burnt offerings and sacrifices”. And Jesus agreed with him.


Within hearing distance of this scribe and of Jesus was the Jerusalem Temple, the national place of sacrifice of animals and of burnt offerings, the national religious centre above all centres of the God of Israel. There – there was THE place of religion.


Therefore, what Jesus had said was of the utmost importance in that connection. The very greatest and most important commandment, the one to be kept at all costs, was “much more” than what was going on in the revered Temple next door.


That Jesus-endorsed statement inevitably leads to a very serious question. Is this greatest commandment – from Jesus and from the archives of the ancient people of God, Israel, the Jews – is this greatest commandment more important than what goes on by way of the deeds and actions of Christian religion in Jersey AD 2010?


To answer that, just think about it. What would it mean for me to “love the Lord my God” with every fibre of my being? With all my heart? With all my understanding? With all my strength?


Even the corollary to that impossible commandment is enough by itself. “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Let alone the main requirement.


That means that I must see to it that my “neighbour” in Pakistan at this present moment has a dry home like mine, and the income to go with it.


That’s religion. If I want to succeed by religion that’s the requirements. From Jesus’ own lips.


To sum up. Jesus said –


1.     Religion is only towards the one God of Israel, of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2.     Religion that relies on outward things in Temples and holy buildings is too little.

3.     Religion has to fulfil this greatest commandment and its corollary if it is to be effective.

4.     If I am to succeed in the Christian religion I must love Almighty God – not merely obey Him – with all that I am.


Is it a good idea for folk in Jersey to be doing "religion" after hearing from Jesus? Note: that day no one dared question Jesus any more.


What do you think? Have I missed out above the marvellous news from Jesus? The regime changing news that brings about that love for God deep within that is the greatest commandment.

“Religion is mankind searching for and trying to please God, but true Christianity is God searching for and finding men and women.” (Anon.).
 “Men and women never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.” (Blaise Pascal, French mathematician, 1623-1662)
Richard Syvret

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