The most important commandment!
Scripture reading for February 25th: Mark 12
As the earthly ministry of Jesus came to a conclusion, He was questioned by the Pharisees and teachers of the law. Their goal was to trap him and Jesus knew it. (Mark 12:15) These religious leaders were hypocrites! They claimed to love God and love their neighbor, but they were seeking to kill Jesus. He was the Son of God and their neighbor! Jesus answered their questions and amazed them at His simple wisdom and ability to answer.
One of the teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31) Jesus answered this teacher with simple truth and the man agreed! Jesus told him that he was not far from the kingdom of God.
This man was close, but still could not get into the kingdom by keeping this great commandment. Only Jesus Christ, the Son of God, perfectly loved God. He demonstrated this love by keeping all the commandments. He, alone, has loved God with all His heart, soul, mind and strength. He, alone has loved His neighbor as Himself! In faith in Jesus Christ we are given the righteousness that we need to enter the kingdom of God. (2nd Corinthians 5:21) Strive to love God and obey Him but believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved and given the keys to God’s kingdom!