Seeing Through God’s Eyes -Tools Not Rules – Relationships Not Rules

Bible Verse:
Luke 10:25-29 & Mark 12: 28-34

James M. Moody

Date Preached:

Reading Schedule:

Sunday 3/11 Proverbs Ch. 11; Luke 10: 25-37
Monday 3/12 Proverbs Ch. 12; Mark 12: 28-44
Tuesday 3/13 Proverbs Ch. 13; John 3: 1-21
Wednesday 3/14 Proverbs Ch. 14; Exodus 20: 1-17
Thursday 3/15 Proverbs Ch. 15; Exodus 31: 12-18
Friday 3/16 Proverbs Ch. 16; John 1: 1-17
Saturday 3/17 Proverbs Ch. 17; Mark 1: 1-11


TOOLS – Instructions that, when followed, result in benefits.

Luke 10:25-29 – 25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[c]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Mark 12: 28-34 – 28 One of the teachers of the law(T) came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f](U) 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g](V)There is no commandment greater than these.”
32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him.(W) 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”(X)
34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”(Y) And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.(Z)

The first encounter with the teacher of the law as recorded in Luke 10 occurred immediately after Jesus’ disciples returned from being sent to preach, heal and deliver. This is midway through Jesus’ three year ministry.

The timing of the encounter with the teacher of the law in Mark 12 is after Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem that we call Palm Sunday. We know this is at the end of Jesus’ ministry and the beginning of the week when Jesus was crucified.

There are three things Jesus established when He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday that are eternal blessings we walk in every day of our lives. We will discuss those on Palm Sunday.

  1. Using the words from the “Shema”, the teacher in Luke 10 attempted to fashion a rule to manipulate and trap Jesus. 
  2. Mark 12: 28-34 – describes how one of the teacher of the law saw the words from the “Shema”‎, Deuteronomy 6: 5 as a tool for proper relationship with God and humanity.  
    1. This teacher acknowledged as a tool for relationship.
    2. He says to Jesus in verse 33 these relationships are “more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices‎.”
    3. Jesus told him he wasn’t far from the kingdom. 
  3. Another way to say “Tools not Rules” is “Relationship not Rules”.
    1. Tools are instructions that, when followed, result in benefits in my life.
    2. PRINCIPLE #1
      Tools are about establishing and maintaining 
      relationship with God and others.
    3. Jesus desires to change our perspective today.
  4. John 3: 16 yields its full meaning and value when read along with John 3: 17
    1. John 3: 16-17 – 16 For God so loved(V) the world that he gave(W) his one and only Son,(X)that whoever believes(Y) in him shall not perish but have eternal life.(Z)17 For God did not send his Son into the world(AA) to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
    2. Jesus Christ came to restore the broken relationships between
      humanity and God,
      humanity and humanity, and
      humanity and creation
    3. PRINCIPLE #2
      Rules make us sin conscious which results in guilt, shame, hiding from God, who loves us, created us, and sent His Son to restore our broken relationships.

      1. Humanity and God, (Genesis 3: 8-11 – Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
        10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
        11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? [I’m the One who told you that you were naked! Why would you be afraid of me because you’re naked?] Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”)
      2. Humanity and humanity, (Genesis 3: 12 – The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”)
      3. Humanity and creation, (Genesis 3: 13 – Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
        The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.
    1. Jesus repeatedly challenged the religious establishment of His day regarding rules that “place heavy burdens on the people”. 
      1. God’s desire is for relationship not Rules.
      2. Jesus’ confronting of the religious establishment had its basis in God’s desire for relationship not rules.
    Each of the Ten Commandments is given to direct us in our relationships.
    (See Exodus 20: 1-17)

    1. First with God (1-4) – Describe the benefit of each of the commandments!
      1. “You shall have no other gods before[a] me.
      2. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.You shall not bow down to them or worship them;
      3. “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God,
      4. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work,

SABBATH – Exodus 31: 12-18. Explains relationship with God preserved by keeping Sabbath

    1. then with each other (5-10). 
      1. 12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
      2. 13 “You shall not murder.
      3. 14 “You shall not commit adultery.
      4. 15 “You shall not steal.
      5. 16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
      6. 17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
  1. Be sure‎ to contrast “relationship not rules” to the traps of:
    1. relationship over wisdom of God for our lives;
    2. or affiliation over achievement, where we “dumb down” or “sand bag” just to be accepted by people who aren’t achieving what they could achieve;
    3. or choosing inappropriate, illegal, immoral, or unethical actions in order to maintain relationship with others. 


God’s desire is for loving relationship with us and for us to have loving relationship with each other.

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