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

Saturday, September 7, 2024

[Jesus continued,] "The second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these."
— Mark 12:31 NLT

Key Thought

In the previous verses (Mark 12:29-30), Jesus says that the greatest commandment is for us to love God. Now he says that the second great commandment also deals with love. This time, however, Jesus focuses our attention on our love for other people. In giving these two commandments — love God and love our 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 on treating our neighbors fairly. However, Jesus takes these six a step farther and makes them simpler to remember. In addition to honoring God and treating others honorably, we are called to love them. Our motivation and passion, not just our behavior, are suddenly at issue. John even says that we don't really love God if we don't love others (1 John 4:20). 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 others. Please fill my heart with your love as I seek to love my neighbors — those whom I like and those who are my enemies. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Exodus 20:2-17
  • Luke 6:27
  • Romans 5:5

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Illustration

Illustration of Mark 12:31 NLT — [Jesus continued,] "The second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.