What Jesus Did! 'Love Your Neighbor' — Mark 12:31

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

"The second most important command is this: 'You must love other people the same as you love yourself.' These two commands are the most important."
— Mark 12:31
Illustration of Mark 12:31 — "The second most important command is this: 'You must love other people the same as you love yourself.' These two commands are the most important."

Key Thought

The second great commandment also deals with love. This time, however, Jesus focuses our attention on our love for other people—our neighbors. In giving these two commandments—love God and love neighbor—Jesus has summed up the heart of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20), God's blueprint for morality. The first four commandments focus on honoring God. The remaining six focus upon treating our neighbors fairly. However, Jesus takes them a step deeper and makes them simpler to remember. More than honoring God and treating others honorably, we are called to love them. Our motivation and passion are suddenly at issue and not just our behavior. God made us for relationship with him and with others. Our relationships are to all be marked by our love.

Today's Prayer

Father in Heaven, I do love you and I want that love to be shown through all that I am. I confess, dear God, that loving my neighbor can often be much harder than loving you—of course I also know that I can't really love you without loving my neighbor. Please fill my heart with your love as I seek to love my neighbors—those whom I like and those whom are my enemies. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

One of the teachers of the law came to Jesus. He heard Jesus arguing with the Sadducees and the Pharisees. He saw that Jesus gave good answers to their questions. So he asked Jesus, "Which of the commands is most important?" Jesus answered, "The most important command is this: 'People of Israel, listen! The Lord our God is the only Lord. You must love the Lord your God. You must love him with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.' The second most important command is this: 'You must love other people the same as you love yourself.' These two commands are the most important." The man answered, "That was a good answer, Teacher. You were right when you said these things. God is the only Lord, and there is no other God. And a person must love God with all his heart, all his mind, and all his strength. And a person must love other people the same as he loves himself. These commands are more important than all the animals and sacrifices we offer to God." Jesus saw that the man answered him wisely. So Jesus said to the man, "You are close to the kingdom of God." And after that time, no person was brave enough to ask Jesus any more questions.

Mark 12:28-34

Related Scripture Readings

"I am the Lord your God. I led you out of the land of Egypt where you were slaves. {So you must obey these commands:} "You must not worship any other gods except me. "You must not make any idols. Don't make any statues or pictures of anything up in the sky or of anything on the earth or of anything down in the water. Don't worship or serve idols of any kind. Why? Because I, the Lord, am your God. I hate my people worshiping other gods. People who sin against me become my enemies. And I will punish those people. And I will punish their children, their grandchildren, and even their great-grandchildren. But I will be very kind to people who love me and obey my commands. I will be kind to their families for thousands of generations! "You must not use the name of the Lord your God in a wrong way. If a person uses the Lord's name in a wrong way, then that person is guilty. And the Lord will not make him innocent. "You must remember to keep the Sabbath a special day. Work at your job six days a week. But the seventh day is a day of rest in honor of the Lord your God. So on that day no person should work—not you, your sons and daughters, or your men and women slaves. Even your animals and the foreigners living in your cities must not work! Why? Because the Lord worked six days and made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. And on the seventh day, God rested. In this way, the Lord blessed the Sabbath—the day of rest. The Lord made that a very special day. "You must honor (respect) your father and your mother. Do this so you will have a full life in the land that the Lord your God gives you. "You must not murder anyone. "You must not do the sin of adultery. "You must not steal anything. "You must not tell lies about other people. "You must not want to take your neighbor's house. You must not want his wife. And you must not want his men and women servants, or his cattle, or his donkeys. You must not want to take anything that belongs to another person!"

Exodus 20:2-17

"I say to you people that are listening to me, love your enemies. Do good to those people that hate you.

Luke 6:27

And this hope will never disappoint us—{it will never fail}. Why? Because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. God gave us his love through the Holy Spirit. That Holy Spirit was a gift to us from God.

Romans 5:5


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.