Mark 12:28-34 (NIV) 28 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?” 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 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: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” 32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
The Oldest Commandment As a kid, the words, “Clean your room” got very old very quickly. Don’t get me wrong, now that I look back at it, I’m glad my parents insisted that I clean my room. What I had a hard time understanding was that my room, compared to some of my friends, was not even that messy. My parents would not only ask me to pick up toys and clothes, but also to dust and to vacuum. My dad would say, “When you get married, your wife will like that you are a clean man” (I think my dad was right). Because I heard the phrase, “Clean your room” so much, it got very old very quickly, I and soon forgot the importance behind the task. In Mark 12, what is called “The Greatest Commandment,” may sometimes may read “The Oldest Commandment.” Why? Let’s face it, we have all heard and read this passage before. Most of us have had a small group on it, or have heard a sermon series that somehow lasted more than a month on these 2 commands: love God and love your neighbor. Even those who do not place their faith in Jesus have heard of this commandment! If we are not careful, because of the amount of times this has been repeated, we may begin to devalue the lesson that is taught here. As Jesus spent a day of his last week teaching the crowds of Jerusalem, he deemed it important to speak on these two commands. Here are some reflection questions to ask yourself as you spend time intentionally focusing on loving God with all of your being, and with loving your neighbor as yourself. Do you spend time meditating on God’s glory? Are you intentional in thanking God for his favor? Do you love what God loves? Do you grieve over sin? Are you willing to do small things to serve others? What can you do for someone at your workplace that shows you care? What is one way you can demonstrate tangible love to those living in the house with you and/or next to you?