Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mark 12:28-37 - Must have Love!

At that time, 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 first of all?" Jesus answered, "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; 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.' The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he; 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." 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 question. And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, "How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, declared, 'The Lord said to my Lord,Sit at my right hand,Til I put your enemies under your feet.' 
David himself calls him Lord; so how is he his son?" And the great throng heard him gladly.
Hearts (Explored!)
Love is Supreme!
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In this account, a scribe gets it right.  He agrees with Jesus that the greatest commandment is to Love God with all our being and to love our neighbor as ourselves. He goes on to say, this is more important than all the religious duties you can muster. Sacrifices and burnt offerings are nothing compared to just loving God and our neighbor.  Jesus, hearing the scribes answer, says, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God."  That is to say, he is on the right track.

Going to Church, reading the Bible, having morning and evening prayers are all good things and would be the Christian equivalent of Sacrifices and burnt offerings  but all of these religious duties while truly beneficial in my relationship with God are rubbish if I do not show Love to God and and to my neighbor   In another place, Jesus talked with the pharisees  about how they neglected their own parents to pay money into the temple and Jesus remarked, "You ought to have done one, without neglecting the other." And, truly, I must do all the things that draw me into the Kingdom but if Love for God and for people is not there than jI am wasting my time here on earth.

O Lord, you showed the scribe that he was not far from the kingdom. May that be said of me as well. Today, as I pursue all my religious duties, May I remember to bathe them in love for You and my fellow man.  Amen.

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