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Missing the Point (Mark 12:28-34)

Posted by Esther Siew on


One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “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 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.” “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

Mark 12:28-34


This teacher of the law understood that the purpose of the law is to produce a life of love, which is loving God and loving man. He knew that if people spent all their effort meticulously practicing all the sacrifices and offerings but do not love God and men, they have missed the point. The law was meant to show how far people fall short from God’s standards and how powerless they are to follow them. This is why they desperately need God’s help. Knowing how much God loved them by graciously delivering His people repeatedly and had promised He would one day send them the ultimate deliverer, ought to lead them to love the One and only true God with their everything. One just cannot help but to then love the people around them, out of the overflow of receiving God’s love and loving Him.


I resonate so well with the verse in the hymn “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.” I can be busy doing bible studies, prayers, money offerings, charity, donations, confessions of sins, scripture memorisations, etc. but easily forget that all these are meant to remind me of the One who loves me. What really matters to God is my heart, not the “works” that I do. All of these cannot make me a better person. I need God to change me so that I can do all of these and more. Praise the Lord for He loved me so much that He has sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sin. Jesus has made it possible for me to be made right with God and to enjoy a relationship with God and be transformed into His likeness so that we are able to love others.


Lord, as the hymn goes “Take my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above.” Holy Spirit, please help me daily, to not get carried away by activities. As sunbeams are meant to lead me to acknowledge the magnificent sun, help the activities lead me to remember God’s love. Help me to then love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. And help me love others around me. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.