1. Christ silences everyone through his mind-blowing answers. All the attempts to discredit Him had failed. Now the Pharisees and Sadducees were threatened and felt insecure at the growing popularity of Jesus. They somehow want to trap Him.
2. One such final attempt is made by the one who was most brilliant and well versed in the law, a lawyer or a scribe. However there was something brilliant about this lawyer that the others did not know. Apparently his heart had been touched by Christ. There are two indications for this.
· First Mark tells us that the man was present when Christ was debating with the Sadducees (Mk 12:28) and he noticed that Jesus had given them a good answer.
· Secondly at the conclusion of his own discussion Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God” Mk.12:34). This indicates that the lawyer had been in deep thought about Christ and was under conviction.
3. The Pharisees were trying to turn the people against Jesus. People differed as to what the greatest commandment was. Some believed that it had to do with circumcision, others with sacrifices, and still others with the Sabbath. The Pharisees hoped that by stating His opinion, Christ would disturb the people who held a position different from His. He would thereby lose their following.
4. Love is human beings’ chief duty. Every human being is responsible to maintain a loving relationship with God. Very practically, loving God involves the very same factors that loving a person involves.
5. Love with all your ‘Heart, Soul and Mind’
· Heart: the seat of people’s affection and will. The heart attaches and focuses our will and devotion. The heart causes us to devote ourselves to either good or bad things. Christ says we are to love God “with all our heart” We are to focus our heart, our affection and our will upon God.
· Soul: (psuche): the seat of peoples’ breath and life or consciousness which distinguishes human from other beings. We are to love God with all the breath and consciousness all the life and awareness, we have.
· Mind: the seat of reasoning and understanding. God has given intellectual powers to human beings. He/she thinks, reasons, and understands. Christ says that our minds and thoughts are to be centered upon God.
As many of us would agree, the most used and misused word is love. The beautiful phrase ‘I love you’ is used by people for both nobler purpose and for one’s selfish motives. It is always good to take inspiration from Thomas Aquinas who defined love as ‘wanting the good of the others’. · A loving relationship involves commitment and loyalty. True love does not allow lustful behavior with others. A loving relationship involves trust and respect for the person loved. One should love the other person, just for who he/she is. A loving relationship involves the giving and surrendering of oneself. The drive is to give oneself to surrender oneself to the other not to conquer others. A loving relationship involves knowing and sharing. The desire is to know and to share, learning, growing, working, and serving ever so closely together.
The Preacher’s Outline and the Sermon Bible
William Barclay – The New Daily Study Bible