Pastor Kurt continued his sermons on the Gospel of Mark Sunday:
Mark 12:28 – 31 28 One of
the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had
given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the
most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel:
The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your
heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your
strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no commandment greater than these.”
A scribe asks Jesus which one commandment is the greatest. It looks like Jesus answers with
the top two, but really He’s giving three parts to the greatest commandment.
They are: to know God genuinely, to worship God exclusively
and to serve others wholeheartedly.
We’ll start with the first: To know God genuinely.
God is demanding that we hear Him! That we listen to Him!
“Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” This is the John 3:16 of
the Old Testament. John 3:16 is probably the most well known verse in the New
Testament and Deuteronomy 6: 4-9 was
that for the Jews. It is known as the Shema, which is the Hebrew word for hear.
And the Jewish people recited this verse all the time.
Hear, O Israel:
The Lord our God, the Lord is one5 Love the Lord your God with all
your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These
commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
Bible hearing is more then just hearing. You can hear
without listening and you can listen without taking it in and you can take it
in without determining to do something about it and you can determine to do
something about it without actually taking action.
Bible hearing is
to hear, to internalize, to determine you are going to live it out and then live it out. You listen in such a way
that you obey! Remember it is the doer of the Word not the hearer of the Word
who is blessed.
How do we “hear” God? By reading His Word: the Bible. We
don’t go with our feelings or to a friend for advice or trust in circumstances
or read other Christian books. This is the only book that is His Word!
2 Timothy 3:16 – 17 16 All
Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and
training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God]
may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
And what are we supposed to hear exactly? “The Lord, our
God, is one Lord.” We are supposed to pay attention to who God is. To His
character. So we can know Him better.
In Bible times names meant something about what a person
was. LORD in all caps, which you will see often in the Bible, indicates that
the word behind this is Yahweh. The name God gave Himself. Yahweh is actually a
Hebrew verb meaning ‘to be.” When God said His name in the Bible, He said, “I
am.” He is eternal and unchanging.
Isaiah 41:4 Who has done this and
carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, with the first of them and
with the last, I am he.”
Jesus, The Lord, is the Yahweh of the Old Testament. It’s
hard to wrap our heads around the Trinity, but we have one God.
After it says “Our Lord” it says “Our God”. Yahweh set God up high. Separate from
us. Our God makes Him ours. He is
Just from this we know He’s generous – He gave Himself to
us. He’s is for us – He’s our
advocate, and He is humble – He lowered Himself to live among us and allowed
Himself to be treated the way He was! He is Our God.
The sentence ends with is
. He alone is King of the universe. God doesn’t need us to do
anything for Him. He just wants us to know Him and we start to know Him by
listening to Him. Hear, O Israel
Hear, O Church!
From this we learn He is Holy and perfect in everyway. The
only way we can have a relationship with a perfect and Holy God is through
Jesus and His blood.
The difference between knowing God and knowing about God is
the difference between Heaven and Hell. “About” is fact accumulation. Knowing is appreciating who He is. You
will never know the presence of God until you understand the person of God.
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace
and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and
Philippians 3:8 What is more, I
consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ
Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage,
that I may gain Christ
Hosea 6:6 6 For I
desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of
God rather than burnt offerings.
Jeremiah 9:24 but let the one who
boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord,
who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares
The most important thing you need to know about Jesus? The
Lord Jesus Christ is willing to be your Savior and friend. So first we have to
turn from our sins and trust Him. Then listen! To everything He tells us about
Labels: 2 greatest commandments, Gospel of Mark, greatest commandment, Jesus