Jesus is challenged

Date: Tuesday, April 15

ScriptureMark 12:28-34 – (To read all that happens on Tuesday, read Mark 11:20 – 13:37)

Verse: 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.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”(Mark 12:30-31)

Jerusalem Cross logoA blogger I regularly read, sometimes shares what he calls “Two Sentence Book Reviews” (HERE is an example). There are several books he has made me want to read with just two sentences, and others I have learned are not for me. It is amazing how much can be communicated in so few words.

For the majority of Tuesday of Holy Week, Jesus faces the challenges of the religious authorities. They ask him by what authority he claims to be a rabbi, a religious teacher, whether the people should continue paying taxes to Rome, a hypothetical question they think will disprove resurrection, and more. In today’s reading, we hear Jesus answering what a question about the first, or most important, commandment. In essence, Jesus gives a two-sentence review of his entire ministry: “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,” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Notice in the passage the questioner responds saying “this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices” — a reference back to yesterday’s devo.

This is a great reminder of how our faith is not simply about our private relationship with Jesus, nor is it simply about our service to others. We need to love God, and serve our neighbors. This is not an either/or proposition, but rather a both/and one. If we are choose one over the other, our faith is incomplete.

Prayer: Teach me, Holy Spirit, how to make my faith complete. Amen.

Action: Love God today — through some extra time in prayer, some extra reading, singing a song, etc. AND Love a neighbor else today — by a stranger’s coffee, help out when you don’t have to, take a moment to listen deeply, bring a meal to someone, etc.

Respond: Could you give a two-sentence review of a movie, television show, or book? Give it a shot, and share one by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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