The Essence of What We Believe

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 12:28-34

“And 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. (vv. 30-31)

Have you ever had anyone ask you what you believe? The trouble with many of us who are Christians is that we have attended so many Bible studies and heard so many sermons that it’s hard to know where to start. Fortunately, we have excellent summaries of what we believe such as the Apostles’ Creed.

In today’s Scripture verses, Jesus is asked a similar question: “Which commandment is the most important of all?” (v. 28). Although people like the Pharisees were experts in interpreting the laws of the Old Testament in addition to hundreds and thousands of additional rules and regulations, there were also those who sought to gather all of the laws up into one sentence. The teacher of the law in today’s verses was obviously one of those.

Jesus did not disappoint him. His summary of the law is one still familiar to us. It encompasses both tables of the Ten Commandments: love for God and love for other people. This summary of the law remains important to us today. Putting love for God first, followed by love for our neighbors, is the greatest instruction we can have. Our world would be so different if only we would follow it! —John Koedyker

As you pray, ask the Lord to cause your love for him to be expressed in your love for others.