Tag: mind and strength

The Most Important Commandment!

Scripture reading for October 19th: Mark 11-13

As the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry approached, many of the religious leaders were looking for ways to trap Jesus and have Him arrested.  They plotted together as to how they might get Him to do or say something that would enable them to get rid of Him.  Jesus answered their questions with skill and wisdom, avoiding their traps and silencing them with His replies.  His good answers caused one of the teachers of the law to ask Jesus a serious question. “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’   There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28b-31)  To answer this teacher of the law, Jesus quoted from the book of Deuteronomy for the first commandment. (Deuteronomy 6:4)  God had impressed the need for loving relationship with Him on His people.  What Jesus quoted was known as the Shema (Hebrew for “listen”), and is still recited twice daily by faithful Jews.  This commandment was to be taught to the children and passed on from generation to generation.  They were to share it as often as they could in every day life and find ways to so impress this on the children that they would never forget.

The second part of this greatest commandment came from Leviticus 19:18: “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.  I am the Lord.” God desired good relationships between His people as well.  Love was the word God chose to describe His people’s responsibility to act towards their neighbors.  After all, God is love and love is of God!  (1st John 4:7-8)  He is the Lord of love!

As New Testament Christians, we are people known for our love.  We are people that love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength!  We love because He first loved us and we have experienced that love in Christ.  When we are born again, the Holy Spirit brings a river of God’s love into our hearts.  (Romans 5:5)  We are then able to love our neighbor as ourselves.

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