Social Studies

Sunday, January 7                        

I had another night time learning experience.  In my dream I was tutoring some one in Social Studies, and suddenly realized that the core of the teaching was all wrong.  As I woke up, I began to analyze the problem.  I came to the conclusion that the core of any study of “social studies” is clearly taught in the Bible.  After the Sadducees tested Jesus with their question about marriage in heaven and were left speechless with Jesus’ answers, the highly trained Pharisees tried to stump him by asking him what was the greatest command in the Law.   I don’t know what they expected, but Jesus answered with two verses from the Law.  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Deut. 6:5). . . . and the second is like it ‘love your neighbor as yourself (Lev.19:18).’  All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Bingo!  That’s social studies in a nutshell.  We only need to define who our neighbor is.  Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 answers that.  “Good Samaritan” for the Jews was an oxymoron.  No Samaritan is good.  The net truth in that parable is that every one in our world is a neighbor, people we don’t know, and even our enemies.  Take note, too, that Jesus used two commandments, not just one.  They go together.  Love for others only comes by loving God first.  It’s not surprising that the Pharisees followed the Sadducees by making a quick exit.  Wouldn’t it be great to have our school kids have a social studies class based on those two commandments?  By the way, Jesus role modeled this.  Before the creation of the world, he chose to come to earth to die for us—all while we were enemies and rebels.  We can’t measure up to that, but we can love God and our neighbors.

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