The Greatest Commandments

The religious teacher wanted to know which commandment had the greatest meaning or should have lasting effect on believers. As we meditate on the Word today, let’s not just look for the important keywords, but try to make what’s important to God, also important to us. We will see that Jesus wanted us to make our vertical relationship most important in life, but to show proof of that in our horizontal relationship with others.

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2022-08-09
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 12:28-31
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: 28 One of the teachers of religion who was standing there listening to the discussion realized that Jesus had answered well. So he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29 Jesus replied, “The one that says, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only God. 30 And you must love him with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.’
31 “The second is: ‘You must love others as much as yourself.’ No other commandments are greater than these.”

APPLICATION: It sounds like the teacher of religion was very much like us today. How often do we ask people who tend to blunder on about something ‘just cut to the chase and tell me what’s most important here’! It’s like we might try to master one thing, the most important thing, but don’t make me have to read the whole book, or listen to the whole recording, just give me a synopsis of what’s important! I believe Jesus took full advantage of this man’s question, but I found His response interesting in the following ways:
a. Jesus could have lectured all day, but when a question came from the audience, I believe that the crowd identified with the teacher and would have been very interested in the response. In our church Bible studies, we don’t want to seem stupid by asking questions, but we sure sit upright and listen intently at responses to questions from others in the class. It’s like, that person is representing us, and I want to know the answer to their question.
b. Jesus’ response identified the commandment that pertained to the One in whom Jesus placed His faith and trust. Remember Jesus said that He didn’t speak unless it was the words from His Father. Jesus didn’t know the day or the hour of His return, only God did. And although there are many other references that show the importance Jesus saw in the leadership of our Father, I believe it is important for us to take note that in all areas of life, seek God’s will and His decision – first. When we love someone, like the greatest commandment demands of us with God, we will want to run everything by them first. When we remember the awesome power and the breadth of God’s love for us, we will want to honor Him by obeying His commands.
c. Jesus really saw 2 commandments as ‘important’ to us, so He took the opportunity to tell the teacher about them both, as He considered them equal in importance: God loved us enough that He gave…. As His children, we are to imitate Him and show obedience to His commands so that our lives might reflect His character. Think about this: if God chose to love us, save us, send His Son to die for us, and prepared a home for our arrival in heaven, shouldn’t our lives reflect the same characteristics? We weren’t deserving of such love, yet we were given the status of ‘heirs to His kingdom’. Who are we to be more critical, or selective about which neighbors, coworkers, or friends to love and/or care for?
Jesus said that among all the other commandments, these two were the greatest. In Matthew 22:40 Jesus said that all other commandments hang from these two commandments. Consider these two as the ‘root commandments’ and watch how all the others could branch off from these two! So let me encourage you to work diligently at honoring God through these two commandments, and if along the way you find yourself wavering on any of the others, then go back to the root commandment and make sure you are aligned with God in obeying them first.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Praise God for His guidance in helping us get our priorities straight. Two commandments – honor these and we should find that all others fall into place!

PRAYER: Oh though so unworthy, yet I’m a child of the King! Thank You Lord for these words from an old chorus that reminds us of whose we are. Being comforted by these words, we are free to not only honor our God, but also reflect His love for us, to all that we come into contact with (our neighbors). You never questioned our background, our living conditions, our neighbors, or our pastors – You just answered our quest for eternal life and our need for forgiveness of our sin. In trying to imitate Your awesome example, please Lord, help us to be just as indiscriminate about our neighbors. No matter who they are, or from whence they came, they are our neighbor, and they deserve our love and respect. May they see Jesus in us, as we try to love them for who they are, and not what we want them to be. As they see Jesus, may they have a burning desire to know You Lord, for this is my heartfelt prayer today! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Author: Ed Algreen

One of God's kids expressing his understanding of God's Word and sharing how it is affecting his life! May those who read it be blessed, encouraged, and drawn closer to the Lord!

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