Oct 23, 2007

The Greatest Command

In the Gospel according to Mark 12, Jesus is approached by a teacher of the law who asks Him a great question - What is the single greatest commandment of all? If you could summarize all of God's teaching into one command, what would that be?

And Jesus answers this question. Jesus says in Mark 12:29-21, "The most important one is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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: Love your neighbor as yourself." There is no commandment greater than these."

Did you just catch what Jesus did? This is why Jesus was a great theologian but terrible in math.

Jesus says, here's the most important one - and then goes, first and second.

What's up with that?

You see, the reason why Jesus answers in this way is because He couldn't separate these two.

Jesus says that you loving the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength will flow into how you love your neighbor as yourself. You can’t love God and not love and value people. Our relationship to God dramatically impacts how we treat people.

The true evidence of our worship and love of God is demonstrated in how we treat, value, and relate with one another.
• When we begin valuing God, we cannot help but start valuing people.
• When we begin loving God, we begin loving people.
• When we begin honoring God, we begin to honor people.

And this is what really bothers me. I think it’s a problem that Christians are known more for the things we are against than the things we are for. Of all people, we ought to be known as the people who stand for strong healthy families and marriages. We ought to be the people known for honoring and valuing people. We ought to be the ones who are known for helping people become who they were created to be.
• I think it’s a problem when we’re more angry about homosexuality than we are about starvation and AIDS in the world.
• I think it’s wrong when Christ-followers care more about who’s sleeping with who and who’s doing what with whom, when there are people all around us who are hurting and lonely.
• How can the church get so preoccupied with the things we’re against, when there’s a whole world out there that will spend eternity apart from God because we are too busy and too preoccupied with ourselves that we fail to walk across the street to get to know our neighbors.
• There’s something wrong with us when we have such little value for the life and the eternal destinies of human beings.

Of all the people on earth, Christ-followers ought to be the ones who stand for the things that make us truly God's people.

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