Tag: most important commandment
Scripture reading for February 25th: Mark 12
As the earthly ministry of Jesus came to a conclusion, He was questioned by the Pharisees and teachers of the law. Their goal was to trap him and Jesus knew it. (Mark 12:15) These religious leaders were hypocrites! They claimed to love God and love their neighbor, but they were seeking to kill Jesus. He was the Son of God and their neighbor! Jesus answered their questions and amazed them at His simple wisdom and ability to answer.
One of the teachers of the law asked Jesus, “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 you 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 12:29-31) Jesus answered this teacher with simple truth and the man agreed! Jesus told him that he was not far from the kingdom of God.
This man was close, but still could not get into the kingdom by keeping this great commandment. Only Jesus Christ, the Son of God, perfectly loved God. He demonstrated this love by keeping all the commandments. He, alone, has loved God with all His heart, soul, mind and strength. He, alone has loved His neighbor as Himself! In faith in Jesus Christ we are given the righteousness that we need to enter the kingdom of God. (2nd Corinthians 5:21) Strive to love God and obey Him but believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved and given the keys to God’s kingdom!
Scripture reading for March 5th: Mark 12:18-37, Psalms 48:1-14, Proverbs 10:26
Men are always trying to reduce the requirement to get into heaven to a simple formula. They seem to want to find the line that God requires and then get as close to it as possible and still maintain their freedom to do as they please. Instead we should be seeking complete obedience with joy and thankful hearts!
“One of the teachers of the law 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?” “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: 28-31)
Jesus did not give this teacher one of the ten commandments that he may have been expecting. Instead, Jesus gave this man the greatest commandment. It is the law of love that God Himself set in place and which, if kept, can fulfill all the requirements of the ten commandments. Loving God involves keeping the commandments. “Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him.” (John 14:21) True love of God involves obedience to His commands. If we keep His commands, we will love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. This is the first five of the ten commandments. We will also love our neighbor as ourselves. This is the second half of the ten commandments.
Jesus commended the teacher when he agreed with His instruction. He told him that he was not far from the kingdom. (Mark 12:34) The last step needed would be to place faith in Jesus Christ for forgiveness for breaking God’s law. Confessing our sins to God and asking Him for mercy would bring the needed cleansing. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives us power to love God and our neighbor as God does. Have you repented of breaking God’s laws? Do you know you are in His kingdom (not just close)? Have you been baptized in the Holy Spirit?
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.