Mark 12:29-31 - Love for God and Mankind; Spirit and Summary of The Ten Commandments.
Mark 12:29-31 (NKJV) Jesus answered him,
"The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O
Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you
shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind, and with
all your strength.' This is the first
commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You
shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no
other commandment greater than these."
The Scripture passage here quoted (Deut.
6:4) has been the sacred watchword of Israel down
through their long history. It reflects the
distinctive belief of the Jews in the one true God, in
contrast with the many gods of the nations. These
words were uttered to open the morning and evening
prayer services in the Temple, and are a regular
part of Jewish synagogue services to this day.
[SDA Bible Commentary]
The first quotation came to be known as the
Shema, named after the first word of Deut. 6:4 in
Hebrew, which means "hear." The Shema became the
Jewish confession of faith, which was recited by
pious Jews every morning and evening. To this day
it begins every synagogue service To the
Shema Jesus joined the commandment from Lev 19:18
to show that love for neighbor is a natural and
logical outgrowth of love for God. [NIV SB]
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all
thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all
thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the
first commandment. And the second is like, namely
this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
There is none other commandment greater than
these." These two great principles embrace the first
four commandments, showing the duty of man to
God, and the last six, showing the duty of man to
his fellowman. 1BC1104
The Ten Commandments can be divided into two
categories: those dealing with love for God (the first
four Commandments) and those dealing with
responsibilities toward other people (the last six
Commandments). The same may be said for all the Law and the
Prophets. [Nelson SB re Mat. 22:29-31]
How do you get into a swimming pool? Some
people dip in their toes to test the water's
temperature. Others walk to the shallow end and slowly
ease themselves into the water. Then there are
those who leap off the side of the pool and do a
cannonball into the deep end.
In the early 1980s, cannonballs were more
than a way to jump into the water. They were a
source of competition at the World Belly-Flop and
Cannonball Diving Championships. Contestants dressed in
funny costumes and bright bathing suits, hoping to
make a big splash. Each competitor - some weighed
over 250 pounds - performed three jumps from a
one-meter diving board where they earned points based
on six criteria: height of splash, water
displaced from pool, degree of difficulty, artistry,
personality, and color of swimsuit. The winner received
an amazing array of prizes, including a green
bathroom, a trophy, a bowling bag, a set of wrenches,
and a bag of cash. Not to mention bragging
rights as the world's best cannonballer.
A silly contest might appear to have
little to do with our faith in Christ. But when it
comes to following Jesus, he wants us to dive in!
Dipping your toe into Christianity can be an okay
way to start, but until you take the plunge and
give your whole life to Christ, your faith can
leave you feeling cold.
During Jesus' time on earth, a teacher of
the law asked him which of the commandments was
the most important. Jesus answered, "Love the
Lord your God with all your heart and with all
your soul and with all your mind and with all
your strength (Mark 12:30). Notice that Jesus
said all your heart, all your soul, all your
mind, and all your strength. We can't effectively
live for Christ when we just dip in our toes.
Doing a cannonball into a life with Jesus Christ
can seem scary. You might risk people thinking
you're a little weird. But in reality, diving into
your relationship with God isn't risky at all.
When you take the plunge and wholeheartedly
commit to Christ, you're guaranteed to never
belly-flop but always make a big splash.
"Love the Lord your God with all your
heart and with all your soul and with all your
mind and with all your strength" Mark 12:30.
[Case For Christ For Kids by Les Strobel]
Your Emotions Serve a Purpose
Jesus says in Mark 12:29-30, The most
important commandment is this You must love the
Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul,
all your mind, and all your strength (NLT).
Do you hear the emotion in the words of
Jesus? Hes saying he doesnt want you to just
kind of love him. He wants you to love him
passionately - with all your heart, all your soul, all
your mind, and all your strength. God wants more
than your head knowledge. He wants an emotional
relationship with you.
There are some things you need to
understand about emotions.
First, God has emotions. God is an
emotional God. He feels joy, grief, pain, and hatred
toward sin. He gets frustrated with people. The
only reason you have emotions is because youre
made in Gods image. If God wasnt an
emotional God, you wouldnt have any emotions.
Second, your ability to feel is a gift
from God. Emotions are what make you human. It is
your emotional ability that allows you to love
and create and be faithful and loyal and kind
and generous and experience all of the emotions
that are attached to the good things in life.
Your emotions may not always seem like a gift,
but even the negative ones have a purpose in
Third, there are two extremes to avoid.
Emotionalism is the extreme of saying the only thing that
matters in life is how you feel - not what you think
or whats right or wrong. Everything in life
is based on your emotions. Emotions control
On the other hand, stoicism says feelings
arent important at all, and the only things that
matter are your intellect and your will.
There are entire Christian denominations
built on these differing approaches to emotions.
Some Christians have decided that it doesnt
really matter how you feel. They downplay
Thats not right. God gave you your
emotions for a reason, and he wants you to worship
him emotionally - with all your heart and all
your mind. [Daily Devotional by Rick Warren:
What does it mean to "Love your neighbor as
Jesus speaks of loving one's neighbor as
the second most important of the Old Testament
commandments (Mark 12:31). Love summarizes the entire Old
Testament law (Matthew 7:12; 22:40). Jesus repeatedly
criticized the Pharisees for their failure to show
love. Love is the mark of a true follower of Jesus
and of an authentic experience of God (John
13:34-35; 1 John 4:7-21).
When we turn to Paul's writings, we see
that love is the most important virtue and more
important than any of the spiritual gifts. Love "binds
us all together in perfect harmony" (Colossians
3:14). Without love, ministry has limited value (1
Corinthians 13:1-3). Paul summed up Christian ethics as
"faith expressing itself in love" (Galatians 5:6).
Love is the central ethical expression of
Christian faith, the primary fruit of the Spirit
(Galatians 5:22), and one of the most important
motivations for ministry. The most important thing for
believers to value and seek is to become a faithfully
loving person. [One Year NLT SB]
On Christmas morning, little Amy was
delighted to find a beautiful golden-haired doll among
the presents she unwrapped. "She's so pretty!"
Amy squealed in excitement as she hugged her new
doll. Then rushing to hug her grandmother, the
giver of the doll, she cried, "Thank you, thank
you, thank you!"
Amy played with her new doll most of the
day, but toward evening she put it down and
sought out one of her old dolls. Amy cradled the
tattered and dilapidated old doll in her arms. Its
hair had nearly worn away, its nose was broken,
one eye was askew, and an arm was missing.
"Well, well," Grandma noted, "it seems as
though you like that old dolly better.
I like the beautiful doll you gave me,
Grandma, little Amy explained, "but I love this old
doll more, because if I didn't love her, no one
We all know the saying, "Beauty is in the
eye of the beholder." A similar saying might be,
"Love is the choice of the beholder." When we see
faults in others, we can choose to look beyond
them. We can choose to love them regardless of
their negative attributes, faults, or quirks.
[God's Little Devotional Bible]
Mine deep enough in every heart and
you'll find it: a longing for meaning, a quest for
purpose. As surely as a child breathes, he will
someday wonder, "What is the purpose of my life?"
Some search for meaning in a career. "My
purpose is to be a dentist." Fine vocation but
hardly a justification for existence. They opt to
be a human "doing" rather than a human "being."
Who they are is what they do; consequently they
do a lot. They work many hours because if they
don't work, they don't have an identity.
For others, who they are is what they
have. They find meaning in a new car or a new
house or new clothes. These people are great for
the economy and rough on the budget because they
are always seeking meaning in something they own
... Some try sports, entertainment, cults, sex,
you name it.
All mirages in the desert of purpose...
Shouldn't we face the truth? If we don't
acknowledge God, we are flotsam in the universe. [Grace
For The Moment SB By Max Lucado re Mark 12:30]
Love is not the work of the Holy Spirit, it
is the Holy Spirit - working in us. God is
love, He doesn't merely have it or give it; He
gives Himself - to all men, to all sorts and
conditions. Joseph Fletcher
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS TOPIC
Matthew 22:36-40 - Loving God With All Your
Heart, Soul And Mind.
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
Seeking God Made Real:
Prayer Made Real:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David
DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies:
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Hope Awakens Bible Study Guides:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies:
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
Islam and Christianity in Prophecy, The
Third and Final Conflict by Tim Roosenberg:
Unlocking Bible Prophecies by Cami Oetman of
Adventist World Radio: https://www.awr.org/bible
Revelation Now by Pastor Doug Batchelor:
Hope Awakens by John Bradshaw of IIW:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: