“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.”] (Mk. 12:28-31)
This Scribe’s question to Jesus comes amidst a lineup of other moral and religious challenges posed by members of His contemporary religious elite. Who is this guy? What is His doctrine? How can we get rid of Him?
From time to time we find ourselves in a similar position to that of the anonymous scribe. Who is Jesus? What does He actually teach? And unfortunately, how can I get around what He says?
Sensing the scribe’s skepticism and our hesitation to “buy in”, He points us to the greatest commandment—love God and love neighbor. Jesus is keenly aware that by following this commandment all our tactful questions are put to rest. The answer to who He is. The answer to what He teaches. The path to a relationship of love with Him. He is God. He teaches us to love God and our neighbor. He invites us into a relationship with Him which we do not want to avoid.
If you haven’t asked these questions of God before, I encourage you to do so. Don’t ask in a skeptical or accusatory way, but rather with curiosity and a sense of discovery. As Jesus gives you the mandate to love God and neighbor, allow God to speak to your heart. Let Him tell you who He is. Let Him teach you His doctrines. Let Him love you.