Our Next Guest Is: The Greatest Commandment

Series: Our Next Guest | Week 9: A Journey Through the Gospel of Mark

Day Four Mark 12:28-34

28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

32 The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. 33 And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

34 Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.
– Mark 12:28-34 (NLT)

1. How is the interaction between Jesus and this teacher of the law different from the other interactions Jesus has had?
2. Jesus answers the teacher by giving two commandments. How do the commandments relate to one another?
3. Which is more important: the two commandments or the gifts and sacrifices on the altar (verse 33)? Why?

Throughout Mark, Jesus has faced opposition, yet this is the only time in the Gospel where a scribe (teacher of the law) agrees with Jesus. If we zoom out, we see Jesus answers the scribe with commandments displayed in His own ministry. Jesus shows love to all His neighbors by teaching both Jews and Gentiles (Mark 4:35-5:20). Jesus worships and acknowledges God rather than the traditions of the Pharisees (Mark 7:10). How are you at these two commandments? How are you investing in your love for God with your mind? Your heart? Your soul? Your strength? What needs to change if you aren’t? Because of our love for God, we can then truly love our neighbors, even those we don’t like. Ask God how you can display your love to someone this week that you normally have a hard time loving.

For Further Reading: What Does “Love the Lord with All Your Heart” Mean?

*TPCC does not necessarily endorse all For Further Reading/Learning sources. They are simply meant to be a helpful tool.

Our Next Guest