Wicked husbandmen; tribute to Caesar; Great Commandment; widow's mite; signs of the end.
And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, Which is the first commandment of all? (Mark 12:28).
The presence of the One True God set Israel apart from all the nations of the earth and ensured their being a peaceful, prosperous, and powerful people. This glorious truth was found in Moses' key message: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord (Deut. 6:4). Israel was called not only to confess this to an idolatrous world, but they were also to condemn the world's false gods and destroy their worship centers.
In today's reading, this grand truth was made clear by our Lord Jesus Christ. When questioned by a scribe as to what was the greatest commandment, Jesus quoted Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: and 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 (Mark 12:29-30). Jesus commends this scribe who added to love Him (God) with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices ( Mark 12:33).
This scribe knew that character and conduct are of supreme importance and that the only conclusive evidence that a man has received genuine redemption and has experienced the renewing power of the Holy Spirit is in a life that is ruled by Christ's love in every aspect..
Today there is a tendency to give diligent attention to external conduct, worship services, and religious activities, and neglect the weightier matter of the law, judgment, mercy, faith and the willingness to be kind, patient, and loving (Matt. 23:23). To be acceptable, we must express ourselves in practical ways. To say that we love the Lord means that we truly worship Him with our whole being in obedience to His Word. If our love toward God is genuine, it will reveal itself in our language and our conduct with all those we meet.
How wonderful to realize we have an exalted position in Christ — we are privileged far beyond what earthly Israel ever knew — to know the One God of Israel, manifest in the flesh, our soon coming King who said: I and My Father are One . . . the Father is in Me, and I in Him (John 10:30, 38).
Thought for Today:
Do you pray daily for those in authority over you, that you may lead a quiet and peaceful life?
For Mark 12:1: See Is. 5:2. Mark 12:10-11: See Ps. 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 Ps. 110:1. Mark 13:14: See Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11. Mark 13:24: See Is. 13:10. Mark 13:26: See Dan. 7:13. Mark 13:27: See Deut. 30:4; Zech. 2:6.
12:1 let it out, rented it; 12:17 Render to Caesar, Give to Caesar; 12:34 durst, dared; 12:42 two mites, a farthing (a penny).
Prayer Suggestion: When you pray, be brief and pray from your heart (Eccl. 5:2).
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 139:7-8