Mark 12 -- 13
The Scribes were the authorized interpreters of the Law. They developed their own complex system of laws known as the tradition of the elders (Matthew 15:2-6) which they emphasized more than the Law. Jesus was questioned by one of these Scribes, who asked: Which is the first commandment of all? (Mark 12:28). He probably thought that since Jesus was just an uneducated carpenter that he could embarrass Him with this complicated question. Jesus answered him (quoting Deuteronomy 6:4-5), The first of all the Commandments (in importance) is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is One Lord: 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 (Mark 12:29-30). Jesus then quoted Leviticus 19:18, saying: The second is . . . You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is none other commandment greater than these (Mark 12:31). The scribe commended Jesus, saying: Master, You have said the truth: for there is One God; and there is none other but Him (12:32-33).
The Hebrew word Elohenu is translated our God. However, God chose to use the plural form, Elohim, literally meaning our Gods, 2500 times in reference to Himself as the Self-Existent, One True God. This, then, is what the sacred proclamation to Israel says: Hear, O Israel; The Lord our Gods is One Lord. Furthermore, the Hebrew word for One is also a solemn declaration that the Lord is a plurality in unity. One (echad) is a word which expresses one in the collective sense. It signifies a compound unity -- not an absolute unity. For example, God said: Man and wife shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:24). Even with numerous children, they are still called one family. The one Tabernacle (Exodus 36:13) included many individual parts. And many soldiers become one troop (II Samuel 2:25). However, there is a Hebrew word for one in the sense of absolute unity. It is the word yacheed, and this word is never used to express the Godhead, although it is used many times in Scripture.
This truth exposes the tragic ignorance of all who reject Jesus as the sinless Creator of all things. The Holy Spirit guided the Apostle John to write: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him (John 1:1-3). The Apostle Paul was led to write: By Him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth (Colossians 1:16). Those who reject Jesus as God are, in fact, also rejecting the revelation of God Himself as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, because Jesus said: I and My Father are One (John 10:30; see also 5:18; 12:45; 14:9-11,20), and all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father (5:23).
It is of utmost importance that we evaluate our love for God in the light of our love for each other -- the unlovely as well as our friends. Jesus said: By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one to another (John 13:35).
For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one (I John 5:7).
For Mark 12:1: See Isa. 5:2. Mark 12:10-11: See Psa. 118:22-23. Mark 12:19: See Deut. 25:5. Mark 12:26: See Ex. 3:3-6. Mark 12:29: See Deut. 6:4. Mark 12:30: See Deut. 6:5. Mark 12:31: See Lev. 19:18. Mark 12:32: See Deut. 4:35. Mark 12:33: See Deut. 6:5; Hos. 6:6. Mark 12:36: See Psa. 110:1. Mark 13:14: See Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11. Mark 13:24: See Isa. 13:10. Mark 13:26: See Dan. 7:13. Mark 13:27: See Deut. 30:4; Zech. 2:6.
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Memory Verse for the Week: