The Greatest Commandment
In Mark 12 a scribe asks Jesus which is the first commandment of all, or which is the greatest commandment. Based on the commentary around this man, it seems like a genuine question, not like the questions that were asked of Jesus to try to trick Him. Jesus answers: 29 “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ In many situations and circumstances of life we will do well to not “overthink” the situation. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had expanded God’s law to hundreds of commands and sub-commands that people were required to keep. Obviously, some additional clarification is necessary in “law” to operate a country but for the follower of Jesus, keeping the two commands that Jesus reiterates will serve us very well.
Whenever we are faced with a decision about a course of action I think we’ll do pretty well if we ask ourselves, “Is what I’m about to do or say something that violates loving my God or loving my neighbor?” If it doesn’t break those two commands, it’s always going to be OK. Now, this doesn’t help with whether you should have a chocolate or vanilla milkshake but that decision isn’t really that important now is it…in fact, maybe you should have both….or get chocolate if it allows you to share with your spouse! Don’t overthink it!