Mark 12:28-34 -The Most Important Commandment
28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] No other commandment is greater than these.”
32 The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. 33 And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”
34 Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.
There are 613 Jewish Laws, Jesus’ answer summarizes them all.
God’s laws are not burdensome, they can be reduced to 2 principals: Love God & love others (Deut 6:5, Lev. 19:18)
When you love God completely you follow the Ten Commandments as a result of your love. You love God when you obey Him.
Why does loving God & others sum up all the laws?
1. When you love God you want to obey Him because they thought of hurting the one who died for you hurts your heart and makes you sad.
2. When you love someone you look out for what is best for them. NOT YOURSELF. You would not steal from someone you genuinely love because you think of their needs before your own and love does not envy.
3. Love is truthful and does not lie
4. You can’t hold Unforgiveness towards someone you are loving because love does not keep record of being wronged
“Love is patience with the ability to be taken advantage of over & over again…it stands the test of time. It makes it through the hardships & difficulties… love refuses to give up, it refuses to surrender, it will not stop believing or hoping, it will simply not stop loving.” – Greg Laurie
5. When you love someone you place value in their name and do not disrespectfully use it in vain
6. When you love someone you want to spend time with them. So when you love God you desire to spend time praying, reading His Word, going to AWANA and Sunday School, singing Him Praises and making Him proud. If you have no desire for the things of God, do not be deceived, you do not truly love God.
7. When you are acting in love you do not mistreat someone with harsh words or physical pain because love is patient and kind.
8. Loving God & others brings them honor. If you love your parents you will respect their authority, obey them, and think more highly of them than you do yourself.
9. Love expects nothing in return for the nice things it does
10. Love is not a feeling. It is an act of putting others first, laying aside your own desires & instincts, and asking God to help you do it.
The key to loving God & others is asking God to fill us with His Holy Spirit. Love is a fruit of the Spirit so the more time we spend with God the more love will be produced in our lives.
If you have to make a decision ask yourself which choice best shows love for God and/or love for others?
“Loving others may mean tears, heartache, and much persevering in prayer; but love overcomes all obstacles.” – Andrew Murray
Take a moment and think about the way you treat your parents. Do you respect them? Honor them? Obey them? Put their desires before your own? Are you more concerned with their happiness than your own? Think about it and decide if you are really loving them the way God wants us to love them.
Take a moment and think about the time you spend with God. Do you respect Him? Honor Him? Obey His Word? Put His desires before your own? Are you more concerned with making Him pleased than doing what you think is fun? Decide if you are really loving God the way he wants us to.