Which Is Most Important?
Mark 12:28-31 (ESV) – And 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 most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important 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.’
People who can boil things down to the most essential and important things to know are helpful people. It could be a legal document or some kind of contract. It may be a set of instructions left for someone to perform. The essential question is often asked: what’s the bottom line? When prioritizing a list of tasks or objectives, the question is often asked: what is most important?
These questions were asked of Jesus by a group of antagonizing religious leaders. Our passage today shows us how He responds. The question posed to Jesus was: what is the most important commandment of all? This is a huge question. Asking God in the flesh what is the most valuable of all the commands is boiling down everything into the most essential task. What does Jesus answer? Love God with all you are and love your neighbor as yourself.
This is often called the Great Commandment. In this response Jesus boils down all the law and prophets to this principle. It is a summary of God’s will to mankind. We are to love Him with nothing surpassing Him in our affections. And we are to love our neighbor—fellow people—as we love ourselves.
How do we live this out practically? We should prioritize the worship and devotion to the Lord above everything in our lives. We should purposefully lead our hearts to follow our actions of devotion. This devotion entails loving God with ALL of our mind and ALL of our soul and ALL of our will and ALL of our strength. ALL is the key word. Nothing withheld. No rivals. The Lord is worthy of this kind of devotion, and it is this kind of devotion that fuels our lives with joy.
Reflection & Journal:
- What does loving the Lord with all of our lives look like practically?
- How does community in a local church help us in this Great Commandment?
- What are some of our biggest rivals or deterrents to fulfilling this command?
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