“The most important [commandment] 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.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”Mark 12:29-31
He was asked questions. Many questions.
Sometimes the questions had hidden agendas. The questions were meant to trip him up or cause him to say something they could use to discredit him.
At other times, the questions were so biased as to just be set-ups to show just how wrong he was and how right they were.
What they didn’t know was that he could see right through all of that.
And he never shied away from the questions. He always answered them.
What’s more, he always answered them with the truth.
Today, that’s a sticky thing. We live in such a relativistic world, that the word truth had very little meaning to most people.
But not to him. Even though he walked this earth two thousand years ago, his approach to truth is timeless.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m talking about Jesus.
Jesus who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6, emphasis added).
He is the timeless truth. Relevant to the Jewish and Roman culture of the 1st Century, and relevant to the American post-modern (and post-Christian) culture of the 21st Century.
One day, a scribe (a Jewish record-keeper, professional theologian and jurist), asked Jesus about “the greatest commandment.”
It would appear that this scribe did not have a hidden agenda or bias. He truly wanted to know what Jesus thought.
Jesus tells him. He pulls no punches. The greatest commandment is all Ten Commandments, summed up as “love God” and “love your neighbor.”
The scribe appears to be happy to hear this, as if he was relieved that he was on the same page as Jesus.
Are you on the same page as Jesus?
That’s a question I should be asking myself every day, starting at the beginning of the day.
Jesus makes it clear how I should live my life – love God and love my neighbor.
Is it possible to live this way?
The answer is yes!
I have the power to love God will all my heart, soul, mind and strength. Also, the power to love my neighbor as myself.
Jesus gave me this power when he sent the Holy Spirit to bring me to faith in the waters of Holy Baptism and strengthens my faith through the Means of Grace.
The bad news is that I don’t use this power every day.
But there’s more good news! Jesus forgives me when I don’t use this power! He restores my relationship with God through his blood-bought forgiveness!
I encourage you to wake each day and pray this prayer to put you on the same page as Jesus and live according the greatest commandment:
I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that you would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please you. For into your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.
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