Matthew 22:35-40 – Jesus was focusing on relationships here. He is saying that there are two types of relationships that are vitally important. Our relationship with God and our relationship with other people.
What are relationships? – Two beings interacting. Contact. Communication. There are many levels of relationships as well. Any person that we have contact with, even if it is only for a short time, we have a relationship with.
The way that we are impacted by other people tends to stick with us.
God is Relational and We are Too
Genesis 1:26-27 – God is a God of relationships. God is the only being that is relational within himself. Jesus said, “I and my father are one.”
- God specifically created us for a relationship with him.
- God’s desired relationship with man was damaged by sin.
- Matthew 18 – God seeks us out. The prodigal sons father was watching and waiting for his son to return. God is that way too, he desires our relationship.
- We are relational as well. This is one of the ways that God created us in his image. He gave us a desire to have relationships as well.
- Jesus modeled the relationship that we should have with God the father, but he also modeled the relationship that we should have with other people. He always loved and sought good for people.
- Some of the greatest joys in our lives come from relationships. Some of the greatest pain in our lives can also come from a relationship.
Relationships Have an Eternal Dimension to Them
John 15:4-6 – When we think about eternal dimensions of relationships the first thing that we usually think about is our relationship with God. We need this relationship with Christ. We can’t be fruitful without a relationship with him.
Christ had some not so nice things to say to the Pharisees at times. The root of a lot of that was that they had an entire framework, but they lacked a relationship with God.
Our relationships with others have an eternal importance as well. We can impact people towards the kingdom, or we can affect them in a way that would lead them away from the kingdom.
There is an Interaction Between Sin and Relationships
Sin directly impacts our relationships. Often sin involves a relationship (in some senses it always involves our relationship with God). Sin can take a relationship and turn it into an ugly and hurtful thing.
Relationships, on the other hand, are also often the key to restoration after the sin.
Relationships Have a Ripple Affect
The ripple affect from relationships can be a good thing or they can be a bad thing.
- 1 John 4:20-21 – Our relationships with each other impacts our relationship with God.
- 2 Corinthians 5:18 – Paul talks about reconciliation and how we have been reconciled to God. As our relationship with God affects how we relate to others.
- 1 John 2:15-16 – As we love ourselves, our love for God is destroyed. There are some relationships that are simply incompatible.
Three Qualities of Healthy Relationships
- Selflessness – To really have good relationships we need to be selfless. Christ demonstrated this many times when he was on earth.
- Grace – We never have to offer grace to God. However our human relationships need to be built on a willingness to give grace to each other.
- Investment – This applies not only to our relationship with God, but also with other people. To maintain a good relationship, investment needs to be a part of the equation.