On Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week Jesus did a lot of teaching. Max McLean does a wonderful job here presenting the 12th chapter of Mark. Among many other issues he covers, Jesus answers the questions of those who are trying to trap him and he answers the question, What is the greatest commandment?
Jesus' answer seems simple: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27). But this kind of love comes only as we strip away everything we want and everything we believe about God and the world, so that we can come to know God for who he is. Otherwise how can we love him with everything we are? And when we yield ourselves completely to God, we find we want nothing more than to love him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.
And what does it mean to love our neighbor as ourself? Jesus answers that question in the story of the Good Samaritan, who crossed cultural and religious barriers to care for another human being that he had no responsibility, according to society. It cost him greatly, yet he was lavish with his love for this beaten stranger.
Indeed, Jesus demonstrated this lavish love when he laid down his life for us. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him (Romans 5:7-8, The Message).
May the Lord give us grace to follow these two greatest commandments.
Scripture for Tuesday of Holy Week