Summary: The Love of God is the key that brings us close to entering the Kingdom of God. The gospel is all about Love for God and for other people.
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Pastor James May
LOVE IS THE KEY TO THE KINGDOM
Mark 12:28-34, "And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question."
Since the beginning of creation mankind has searched for answers to all of his problems. We have created institutes of higher learning in a quest to those things that we can do to create a Utopia, a place of perfect peace and rest for all people. We have established our “Think Tanks” where the elite of our most intelligent minds come together to do nothing more than continual research in pursuit of that elusive peace that we all desire so greatly. Yet, for all our research, our skills and our attempts to better the lives of every man, peace seems further and further from becoming a reality with each passing day.
The hunger, suffering and killing continues to grow in its intensity around the world. Social unrest is ever on the rise. Just below the surface of the seas of people lies a seething, boiling anger that we can see erupt into violence, murder and wars at hotspots all over the globe.
What is the answer to all of our social ills? What can we do to bring a solution to all of these problems?
These are the questions that man has tried to answer but has been unable to because we continue to look in the wrong places and trust in the wisdom of those who have no understanding of God’s Word which is the only source of truth we have.
Just as it was in the time that Jesus walked upon the earth along the shores of Galilee, mankind continues to question whether the truth of God’s Word is really truth or not. We refuse to accept it as the only standard for peace and as the only guide into the reality of perfect peace.
In our scripture portion we can see that Jesus is once again being questioned as the religious leaders of the Jews are trying to discredit him before the people. The events of this message are happening just two days after Jesus had entered Jerusalem riding upon the donkey in what we now call the “Triumphal Entry”. We celebrate that ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Within four days these same religious leaders who are now questioning Jesus would be the ones to condemn him to die upon the cross.
This day, like every other was to be a day of harassment from all sides. The proud religious leaders were determined to destroy Christ and they were relentless in their pursuit of Jesus, using every occasion to try to force him to commit a crime punishable by death.
First, it was the Chief Priests (those who stayed around the Temple and cared for its vessels and took part in all of its ceremonial activities), Scribes (those who studied and interpreted the Law of Moses and who did all they could to force the Jews to live according to that Law by imposing stiff penalties) and the Elders (those who held positions of leadership in the government of the Jews) who came to Jesus to challenge him.