After numerous trickery questions, an honest question is finally asked of Jesus. Answering it directly and simply, Jesus invites us to consider what it means to love with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. How are these related? How can we possibly love God, ourselves or others with such purity of heart?
Let us continue to open ourselves to receiving the love God is willing to pour into our hearts.
God's love comes to us and we are changed.
We love because He first loved us.
Mark 12:28-34 (NLT)
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.
For Prayer and Reflection:
Is there a word or a phrase that stood out to you as you listened? As you sit with this, what else do you hear or sense from the Lord your God?
What are your first loves? Can you imagine what a change of heart, a reordering of loves might be like for you?
What questions do you want to ask Jesus? Are there any questions that you feel you dare not ask? Why? Dialogue with Him about this. (If you dare!)
How is God pouring His love into you? What helps you receive God's love?