By Rev. Ashley Grant
Nov. 1, 2015
Mark 12:28-34
In our reading from Mark, Jesus is the Jerusalem crowd favorite—front runner--at this time, having ridden into town for the Passover Festival on an almost royal wave. The Reading follows a barrage of questions from religious leaders. One after another of these Temple guys tries to one up Jesus with their interpretation of the law or their "what if" scenarios and "What would Jesus do?" questions. Mark reveals who has won this debate....

One of the scribes came near and heard the Pharisees & Sadducees & Jesus disputing with one another, and seeing that Jesus answered them well, the scribe asked Jesus, "Which commandment is the first of all?"

Jesus answered, "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 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."

Then the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that 'God is one, and besides him there is no other'; and 'to love God with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,' and 'to love one's neighbor as oneself,'—this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."

When Jesus saw that the scribe answered wisely, he said, "You are not far from the kingdom of God."
After that, Mark writes, no one dared to ask him any question.

Prayer: May we draw near to your kingdom, God, through the One whom you sent to be near to us. Amen.

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