210306 01 – Mark 12:28-34
²⁸One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?”
²⁹Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; ³⁰and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
³¹The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
³²The scribe said to Him, “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that He is One, and there is no one else besides Him; ³³and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
³⁴When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.
The scribe we meet here agrees with the answer that Jesus gave to the Sadducees in the passage we just read. He belongs to the party of the Pharisees (Compare Matthew 22:34,35).
He would like to know which commandment is the most important (Mark 12:28).
Jesus’ answer is plain and direct: ²⁹Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; ³⁰and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. (Mark 12:29,30).
Belief in God and obeying Him belong together.
These were God’s own words through Moses to the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land.
⁴Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! ⁵You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
They are basic words. They are therefore so fundamental because life on earth wherever, however, can be meaningful, fruitful, and truly happy when we believe in the Lord and obey Him.
Love to God requires our complete surrender and devotion to Him, who is our Creator and Re-Creator. He must occupy the most important place in our lives
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Jesus directly adds to the commandment to love God the commandment of love to your neighbor (Mark 12:31).
You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.
This is the second commandment, is similar to the first (Matthew 22:39), that is, one commandment simply cannot exist without the other: your love to God is manifested in your love to your neighbor (1 Johannes 2:9-11, 3:16-18, 4:20,21).
The Pharisees say they love the Lord, but they don’t love Jesus as their neighbor … What is their relationship with God, if they are not also in a good relationship with their fellow man?
The scribe establishes that Jesus answered his question correctly (Mark 12:32,33). Jesus says of him that with this determination he is on the right path towards the Kingdom of God (Mark 12:34).
But the decisive step to get into that Kingdom is to recognize that Jesus is sent from the Lord and to practice His commandments.
Question for self-reflection
▪︎ What do you understand by accepting God’s Kingship? (Compare Galatians 2:20).
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