The Great Commandment

Mark 12:28-34 (ESV)

The Great Commandment

28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.30 And 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.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

What are your thoughts on this passage?

2 thoughts on “The Great Commandment

  1. I will start the discussion:
    First of all, I am reminded that the heart is deceitful:
    Jeremiah 17:8 says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else
    And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”

    And then in Matthew 6, I am encouraged not to store up earthly treasures, but the treasures of heaven, because “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (v 21)

    I find in Ezekial 36:26-27, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” God controls my heart. Therefore, because I have been commanded to love God with all my heart, I pray to God “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10) Remove my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh, fill me with Your Spirit, keep me on a path to follow and keep Your commands. Become, in me, my most precious treasure.”

    Like my heart, my mind is to be set on things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Col. 3:2) While this verse is very familiar to me, this was a “wow moment” for me today. If I was more focused on God, and the path for Him, I wouldn’t have so much stress and worry in life. The earth and its desires(lusts)is promised to “pass away.” (1 John 2:17: The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.)
    In 2 Timothy 1:7 I am reminded that “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” GOD HAS GIVEN! Could it be that I do not fully use the power, love and discipline GOD HAS GIVEN?

    I search His Word for a prayer to help me love the Lord my God with all my mind:
    “Father, Help me to destroy speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of You. Help me to take EVERY THOUGHT captive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5) Fix my mind on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, those things of excellence and worthy of praise. “(Phil 4:8)

    My soul is that part of me that will continue on, after my body is dead. My soul is who I am. However, it does not belong to me. In Ezekiel 18, God declares, “Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die.” Man was given a soul from the breath of God. (Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Gen 2:7)

    I pray: “Guide my soul to find rest in You, O God, as my salvation comes from You;(Ps 62:1) to bless Your Holy Name with all that is within me; to forget none of Your benefits. You pardon, heal, redeem, crown me with lovingkindness and compassion, satisfy, renew, perform righteousness deeds, judge, make known Your ways. You are compassionate, gracious, slow to anger. Father, Thank you, that You are not angry with me forever, that You sent Christ for my sins and iniquities.(Ps. 103)

    Again, I find that strength comes from God: Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” 1 Chronicles 16:11 helps me to reflect on what to do when I don’t feel that strength. I am to seek the Lord and His strength and His face continually.

    God, Your grace is sufficient for me. Your power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly, I will boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Cor 12:9)

    In each of these areas, I see a direction of obedience. It is even more clear to me in 2 John 6, that to love God, I must walk in His commands, (“And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.”) and in John 14:15, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

    As His child, I love myself in a way that compels me to be obedient to Him. I want those who love me, to encourage me to do obey Him. I pray that I can love my neighbors enough to exhort them to walk in God’s commands and obedience.

    1. Wow that is a LOT to chew on Lori! You have some of my verses in there as well that I think of.

      These verses sum up the 10 commandments 30 And 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.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”. The first ones deal with our relationship with God and the latter with others.

      When I am teaching this to kids, we sing this song by Lincoln Brewster. We do motions as well. I do try to explain soul to the kids – but then we do point to the bottom of our feet. I explain to them, that we are loving God from the top of our heads to the bottoms of our feet – with ALL that we are.

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