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More Mark commentaries

Mark 9:1-8
Jesus takes 3 of His disciples to a high mountain

Mark 9:9-13
Three disciples question about the transfiguration

Mark 9:14-29
The disciples are helpless and ineffective

Mark 9:30-37
Disciples arguing about who is the greatest

Mark 9:38-50
Jesus says greatness comes from serving others.

Mark 10:1-12
Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?

Mark 10:13-22
Possessions don’t help you obtain eternal life

Mark 10:23-31
Hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God

Mark 10:32-45
Willingness to give extra service

Mark 10:46-52
Every male Jew must attend passover

Mark 11:1-11
Jesus rides a donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday

Mark 11:12-18
Jesus said the temple is a den of thieves

Mark 11:19-26
Jesus cursed the fig tree and it dried up

Mark 11:27-33
Jesus questioned on His authority

Mark 12:1-12
Jesus tells about the owner of a vineyard

Mark 12:13-17
Pharisees ask Jesus about paying poll tax

Mark 12:18-27
Whose wife shall she be in the resurrection?

Mark 12:28-34
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Mark 12:35-44
Jesus makes a series of charges against the scribes

Mark 13:1-13
Prediction of "the time of Tribulation”

Mark 13:14-23
False teachers in the end times

Mark 13:24-32
A description of the Second Coming

Mark 13:33-37
We must not be found sleeping

Mark 14:1-9
Jesus anointed with perfume

Mark 14:10-16
Judas arranges for Jesus betrayal

Mark 14:17-26
Lord’s Supper replaces the Passover

Mark 14:27-31
Peter’s heart was in the right place

Mark 14:32-42
Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane

Mark 14:43-52
Judas’ arrival to betray Jesus

Mark 14:53-65
Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin

Mark 14:66-72
Peter denies his Lord three times

Mark 15:1-5
Jesus is brought before Pontius Pilate

Mark 15:6-15
Barabbas is released

Mark 15:16-23
Simon commanded to carry the cross

Mark 15:24-32
Jesus nailed to the cross

Mark 15:33-41
Jesus "gave up the ghost”

Mark 15:42-47
Joseph places Jesus in the tomb

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

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Have you ever heard one child tell another child I will not be your friend unless you do so and so? This is putting conditions on a friendship. Sometimes we forget that Jesus loves us unconditionally. He never says, “I’ll love you if....” He loves us whether or no … More

Love

The Jews were required to obey 613 precepts in the Law; 365 negative precepts and 248 positive ones. One of their favorite exercises was discussing which of these divine commandments was the greatest. Here we find a scribe asking Jesus which commandment is the most important (v. 28). The job of the scribe was to interpret the law in regards to all its rules and regulations. It is interesting to note  Jesus’ answer was from Deuteronomy 6:4-5. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (vv. 29-31).

When Jesus quoted this as the first commandment, every devout Jew would agree with him. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” That is a quotation from Leviticus 19:18. Jesus did one thing with it. In its original context it has to do with a man’s fellow Jew. It would not have included the Gentile, whom it was quite permissible to hate. But Jesus quoted it without qualification and without limiting boundaries. He took an old law and filled it with a new meaning. That was the  putting of  these two commandments together. No rabbi had ever done that before.

This was something that every Jew recited every day. Every scribe had it written out on a miniature scroll that he carried around in a small case made of parchment and that he had bound to his forehead or arm. This scribe was favorably impressed (v. 32) and showed unusual spiritual insight. When Jesus saw this He said, “Thou art not far from the Kingdom of God (vv. 33-34).” In other words He was saying, “You have come so far, why not come all the way by accepting Me and become one of My followers?” But it is always easy to let ritual take the place of love.

Application

God’s laws are not burdensome. They can be reduced to two simple principles: love God and love others. When I am uncertain about what to do, I need to ask myself which course of action best demonstrates love for God and love for others. How many ways I can express my love for the Lord more. How can I show love for my neighbor. Pick at least one that I will plan to do this week.

Mark 12:28-34 (English Standard Version)

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?" Jesus answered, "The most important 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." And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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