Priorities – Mark 12:28-34

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?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 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.’[b] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[c]There is no commandment greater than these.”

32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

As the Lenten season gets underway in earnest, it is important to ask this question: “What are my priorities?”

There is no shortage of individuals or groups who will tell you what they should be. The same was true in Jesus’ day.

So, when he was asked “What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus got right to the point. He didn’t make a long case in defense of his argument. He didn’t say, “Well, it depends….”

Jesus put it simply and to the point: Love God. Love Others. Period.

It seems to me that too often we over-complicate the gracious words of our Lord.

And, lest we forget, he backed these words up with action – sacrificially giving of Himself in the greatest act of love of all.

What are your priorities? Love God. Love others. Period. I hope we all answer that way. Then, perhaps, Jesus will say – as he once said of another – “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

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