Scripture: Mark 12: 28-34
Key verses: (28-32) 28One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30you 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.” 32Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’
Reflection: Notice the scribe off to the side, listening to Jesus answer question after question. His life is about the religious rules and he boldly asked Jesus his own question.
What commandment is the greatest?
Jesus didn’t miss a beat citing words right out of the Old Testament. The Lord our God is one God and we are to love God with all of our being. Loving God first helps with everything else. Loving God puts it all into perspective.
Everyone in the room, followers and opponents of Jesus were probably all in agreement about this first part of his answer. Jesus then turned everything upside down by saying the second part is to love your neighbor as yourself. Loving God enables us to get our relationships right with each other. Loving God enables us to love ourselves more fully. It is not just about being religious or being good, it is about love. It is always about love.
Prayer: God, tear down the walls we have built up around our hearts to keep you and others out of our lives. Tear down the walls, God. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].