Mark 12:28-34 So That We Might Live and Love Him and Love Others

The Text

28 One of the scribes approached. When he heard them debating and saw that Jesus answered them well, he asked him, “Which command is the most important of all?”

29 Jesus answered, “The most important is Listen, Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

31 The second is, Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these.”

32 Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, teacher. You have correctly said that he is one, and there is no one else except him.

33 And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, is far more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no one dared to question him any longer.

The Devotion

The scribe gets it.

Do we get it?

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (CSB) If I speak human or angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give away all my possessions, and if I give over my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

All the gifts. All the noise. All the tweets. All the followers. All the views. All the subscribers. All the members. All the fund raising.

What good is that if we don't love God and love other people?

Loving other people -- that could be messy in our modern world since the word "love" is jacked up beyond all repair. And none more evident than most people assumption that they love God when in their hearts, they really do not.

It had nothing to do with saying the sinner's prayer as a kid (me) or growing up in church or being a pastor or anything that we have done.

Is the Triune God in you? Has the Father ripped your heart out and put his in yours--so he can make his dwelling with you?

Is Christ in you? Saving you and cleansing you from your sins and from all unrighteousness?

Is the Spirit in you? Growing, strengthening you, maturing you, sharpening you, increasing your love for God and less for the world more and more.

Or are we playing church and keeping appearances or trying to complete a checklist so that God will give us what we want and then leave us alone?

What is it going to be? Choose on this day on whom you will serve.