MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
28 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?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 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.’
This passage highlights an exchange between Jesus and a scribe. This Scribe witnessed Jesus responding well to the critics and doubters of his ministry, so he has a question about the law. Specifically, out of the 613 commands of the law, 365 negative commands and 248 Positive commands, which one is most important?
Jesus responds, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 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.’ In the first century, the Jewish audience would immediately recognize that Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 6:4-6, referred to as “The Shema” (Shemah). The Shema became a prayer and confession of the Jewish people that a devout jew would pray twice daily.
If I were to sum up the Shema in three words, it would be these: PERSONAL. COMPREHENSIVE. WHOLEHEARTED.
Here’s why: verses 29 and 30 emphasize that he is the “Lord OUR God” and the “Lord YOUR God.” The emphasis here is on the PERSONAL nature of our relationship with God.
We also see that our devotion to God is COMPREHENSIVE. Do you see the way the text describes our devotion to God? We do it with our hearts, souls, minds, and strength. That with every part of our being, we are to love the Lord!
Do we love him Not only comprehensively but also WHOLEHEARTEDLY. The text states 4x ALL. That with all that we’ve got, we are to love the Lord our God.
But here is the issue, sin causes a reversal of this great commandment. Instead of loving the Lord our God, our sin is us rivaling the Lord our God. Instead of loving God, we choose to love ourselves and thus rival him.
Today, may we choose to obey this great commandment by loving God personally, comprehensively, and wholeheartedly.
Which component of “The Shema” stuck out to you today? Personal? Comprehensive? Wholehearted? Why?
Thank you for your Word. We pray that by your Spirit, Mark 12:28-30 would change us into the likeness of Christ. We ask today that we would love you personally. That we would not delegate our faith to anyone else, that we would be owners. We ask that we would love you comprehensively. May no area of our being go unmoved by you. And may we love you wholeheartedly, may we empty the tank to give you all the glory! We pray these in your name by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.