Tag Archives: Mark 12:28-34

Very Important

The question, “If your house was on fire, what one thing would you grab on the way out?” is meant to be one of those to make you think what is the most important thing to you in your life. (If you’re interested, my answer would be my car keys – not because I love my car, but because it would be somewhere warm and dry to shelter.  The more sensible answer of course would be my meds!)

Anyway, the point being it is important sometimes to know what our first priority is.

Jesus was asked about the various elements of the Ten Commandments, which matters most?

Mark 12:28-34

 

The Most Important Commandment

28 One of the teachers of the Law of Moses came up while Jesus and the Sadducees were arguing. When he heard Jesus give a good answer, he asked him, “What is the most important commandment?”

29 Jesus answered, “The most important one says: ‘People of Israel, you have only one Lord and God. 30 You must love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.’ 31 The second most important commandment says: ‘Love others as much as you love yourself.’ No other commandment is more important than these.”

32 The man replied, “Teacher, you are certainly right to say there is only one God. 33 It is also true that we must love God with all our heart, mind, and strength, and that we must love others as much as we love ourselves. These commandments are more important than all the sacrifices and offerings that we could possibly make.”

34 When Jesus saw that the man had given a sensible answer, he told him, “You are not far from God’s kingdom.” After this, no one dared ask Jesus any more questions.

No doubt, as usual this question was asked, not for knowing the answer, but as another opportunity to trip Jesus up.  But he does answer it,

you have only one Lord and God. You must love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

That makes sense.  If we are seeking to love God with everything we’ve got, everything else should fall in to place as a consequence of that.  It’s not being blinkered to only doing “God” things, but being aware that if we sort out where we are with God first, the rest will follow.

  • Does God have top place in our lives?
  • Is he the most important thing?  Above and before everything else?
  • Do we look to him, and let everything else fall in behind that?

Though Jesus does go on to make a further point – therefore that must be important too.  Loving God is important, but we also need to look to

Love others as much as you love yourself

Loving God is not an abstract.  It has to be worked out in and through what we do each day.  Loving God means that we will also live to love others.  Wow!  Quite tricky then…

which is why we have to love ourselves too.

Do you find it easy to love yourself?  After all, we have to live with ourselves.  We know what we are like, our weaknesses, our low moments, what we have got wrong.  We are left alone with those parts of us we keep from everyone else.

 

It can be hard to love ourselves.  Yet unless we do, unless we appreciate in ourselves how awesome we are, our unique hand in life, the things we have within us to offer, we will never unlock the love within us to share with others.  As we learn to love ourselves, we learn to love those around us.  As we learn to love God, and let him love us, we may allow ourselves to love what we are and can be.

These are the important things in life, not ‘things’ but love. God’s love in us.  Our love for him. His love in and through us for others.

Today, can you let God love you – enough so you can love yourself?  Enough so you can pass that love on?

Lord,

I come

to let you love me.

To stay here,

as your arms stretch out

and hold me tight

– comforting,

healing,

warming,

letting me know

that I am known

and loved.

May I allow your love to sink deep into me.

And from there,

may I be at the point

of being able to love others,

from the security of knowing what I mean to you.

And may I learn to truly love you,

that you are

the most important thing

in my life,

and I may give you

all that I am

What’s Most Important

The Beatles told us that all you need is love

When Jesus is asked the question, what is most important, what is the first commandment above all the others, he replies:

The Most Important Commandment

28One of the teachers of the Law of Moses came up while Jesus and the Sadducees were arguing. When he heard Jesus give a good answer, he asked him, “What is the most important commandment?”

29Jesus answered, “The most important one says: `People of Israel, you have only one Lord and God. 30You must love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.’ 31The second most important commandment says: `Love others as much as you love yourself.’ No other commandment is more important than these.”

32The man replied, “Teacher, you are certainly right to say there is only one God. 33It is also true that we must love God with all our heart, mind, and strength, and that we must love others as much as we love ourselves. These commandments are more important than all the sacrifices and offerings that we could possibly make.”

34When Jesus saw that the man had given a sensible answer, he told him, “You are not far from God’s kingdom.” After this, no one dared ask Jesus any more questions.

Jesus sums  it up as love.  Love God, love others and love yourself.  So this Kingdom of God’s that is beginning to grow, this new thing God is doing – love is what you need.  Without love it won’t work.  Jesus isn’t talking about sloppy sentimental love, he means the hard love of sacrifice, of walking the tough road together, of mopping fevered brows, of forgiving and forgetting – the love that costs and keeps on giving.  That is how God’s Kingdom works.

Jesus has set us the example.  He brought God’s love alive – can we follow the way he has shown us.

Can we love God, as we reflect on all he has done, all he continues to do?

Can we love ourselves?  Often the hardest part, but it was for the depth of his love for us that Jesus came into the world and showed us God’s ways.  He wanted to help us, for us to understand, and ultimately to die that we might know a life of forgiveness and love.

And if we live in these, can we then turn that to others and love them too?  When they hurt us, when they fail us – and when they love us.

Lord,

may the flame of your love

burn brightly in my heart.

As I delight in the knowledge

that you love me,

may that cause me to live in love for others.

May I live in love:

of you,

of myself,

and of my neighbour

near and far

This year, I am again following the BigRead using Tom Wright’s Lent for Everyone – Mark.  I’ll reflect here – if you’re following it too, or even if you’re not, please share with me.