Summary: what does it mean to love the Lord and our neighbors?
We have been noting that the religious leaders hated Jesus Christ and tried several times to trip Him up; eventually of course, as God had predicted, the Jewish Religious Leaders along with the people and through the Roman Empire had Jesus Christ crucified to death. Here’s a question: Did Jesus love His enemies and how did He show it??!
Even before Jesus died for people’s sin, He expressed His love to everyone by teaching and calling everyone to believe in Him.
In our passage today we will note a glimpse of Jesus’ love even to the Religious Leaders and Teachers of the Law who were trying to trap Him. Open your Bibles to Mark 12… Read along with me Mark 12:28-34….
To start with, let’s go back briefly to v12…. And so again let us note: All the Jewish Religious Leaders, including Teachers of the Law, were trying to arrest Jesus!
Now look again at v28: This Teacher heard a good answer from Jesus, so he asked a question. Along with his type of question, what can we say about this Teacher??
Although this teacher may have been trying to test Jesus, he was curious and asked a very practical question!
Jesus was asked what is the most important commandment. The answer to the question of course is easy if you know the Scriptures in the Old Testament.
- The answer to the most important commandment is the First of the Ten Commandments from Deutoronomy 6 and Jesus cited it!
- Jesus also recited the opening line of the 10 Commandments: God is One!
We note later that the teacher agreed. How do you think the Old Testament Hebrews defined God is One?? The OT Hebrews believed God is united as One but exists in a number of persons! From the very beginning God said in Genesis 1:26 – “Let us create man in our own image, in our own likeness…” The Triune has existed eternally and the Jewish Religious Leaders knew this!
- The most important to do is to love God with everything!
- After loving God with everything, love neighbor! (Leviticus 19:18)
V32-34…. Why did Jesus tell the teacher he answered wisely??
a. He agreed and repeated what Jesus said!
b. He also added more truth!
What do you think he meant about loving God and others more important than offerings and sacrifices??
The teacher noted that worship can be rituals of self-edification instead of truly loving and honoring God!!
And I think there is one more thing to note why Jesus can say the teacher answered wisely; what do you think it is??
c. Jesus is God who knew the teacher’s heart!
And as I alluded to earlier, let us not miss the love Jesus was offering this teacher who was trying to test Him!
d. Jesus loved the teacher, who was trying to trap Him, by telling him the truth and encouraging him to continue believing and living out God’s Word!
What biblical principles from this passage can we apply for our lives today?
Let me just highlight 3:
1. Jesus loves everyone including His enemies and we are to follow His way. But let us note that Jesus rebuked those who needed rebuking, and so, how did Jesus love His enemies??
Jesus loved His enemies by teaching them God’s Word and calling them to believe in Him!
We are to do the same. This is how we are to deal with those who confront us today; try to teach them God’s Word and ask them to believe in Jesus Christ as we pray for them.
2. Love God with everything! It’s such a simple statement but we all fall short of this if we really think about it. Love here is agape – it is thinking about the honor and betterment of the other person!
We can not really better God because He is God, but do we focus on honoring God in everything?
This must be the priority of our Christian lives. In everything, think of honoring God!
3. And let us not forget the second priority in life; Love your neighbor as yourself! How do we practice this? Again, know the definition of agape love and how Jesus loved. And remember the message on “Who is my neighbor?” – Our neighbors are those God brings in our sphere of influence, beginning with our family and our church family.