“On Your Mark”
Love for God (Chapter 12 Verses 28-34)
This time it is the Scribes on the subject of the commandments (v28), every flavour imaginable, some things never change. Now bear in mind one has a minefield of rules to plough through in order to answer this question, laws of their own in abundance, they had added to the Law of God (Mark 7.13). Do we not just love our sets of rules, why O why? The New Testament brings us into the realms of a glorious freedom in Christ (Colossians 2.8-15), and no sooner do we get there and we start to bind ourselves, or allow others to bind us. Defend yours, and the Church’s Christian freedom with your very lives (Colossians 2.16-23)! Away with their abominable rules! Worship, follow Jesus.
The Lord (v29-30), once more goes back to Scripture (Deuteronomy 6.4-5), a lesson for us with regards to all our counselling surely. Always learning from the Scriptures ourselves, and becoming more and more skilful in handling them, in order to point people to the right answers. God’s answers. The God whom Moses asserts (Deuteronomy 6.4-5), is the One, the unique covenant Lord of Israel, there is no other like him in all the universe, who makes and keeps an eternal covenant of salvation with his people. Therefore Moses puts the gospel first, never forget the gospel is not limited to the New Testament, and then adds the law next. It is the gospel which supplies the motive for keeping the great commandments of the Law. It is when you believe, trust in such a God, how can you but lovingly obey him, rejoicing in his promises, and living in the light of such hope, what power (Romans 15.13). It is the gospel content in Moses (v28), that gives the great strength to Jesus’ reply. The greatest command says Jesus, is, to love this Lord with the entirety of your being, all your heart (Proverbs 4.23), life (Romans 12.1), and mind (Romans 12.2), to love God supremely. No one else, or nothing else must take his place. These legalists who constantly argued with Jesus had long ago left the Lord behind, their love was for this mutilation of God’s law which they used to manipulate, to manoeuvre and to bind other people with. This is the ultimate, love. Because that is what God himself is (1John 4.8; 4.16), and undergirds his entire Law. And if we do not first and foremost love, we have nothing to do with God (1John 4.20-21), and Paul takes it even further, he says we are nothing (1Corinthians 13-1-3). It cannot be stressed over-much this must be our motivation for all we do, love for God, given to us by him (Romans 5.5), in which we should be growing constantly (Galatians 5.20f).
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)