The Meaning of Life
When you wake up in the morning, what is your mission? Mine is usually to get my eyes opened, have some time with the Lord, and get to work on time. I have a very tight lense of the world in the mornings. The big picture is usually far far away.
I am amazed, though, as I look at this wonderful passage today. I realize that these three verses encompass the meaning of life! This is the wide-angle view. I have loved this passage for many years but I have never seen it quite as clearly as I do today. God is so good!
Let’s look at our passage:
Mark 12:29-31 NIV (focusing on Verse 31)
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Let’s look at Verse 31:
“The second is this…”
The first commandment Jesus talks about is the greatest – we are to love God (the God of the Bible) with every bit of us – heart, soul, mind, and strength. Now, He is on to the second.
“…’Love your neighbor…'”
Who Is My Neighbor?
Who is your neighbor? When asked this question recorded in Luke 10:29, Jesus answered with the story (aka a parable) of the Good Samaritan. Let’s just do a very quick recap of that story:
An Israelite man had to go on foot to a different town to conduct some business and he had to travel through an area where there were not a lot of people around so it was a perfect place for robbers to ambush travelers. In this area, the man was indeed robbed and badly beaten.
As he lay there on the side of the road bleeding and possibly even dying, a leader from the the church walked by, saw the man and passed quickly on by and as far away from the man as possible without leaving the road. Then another leader from the church came by and also passed by on the other side. I guess they just did not want to get involved.
Next, a Samaritan man came by. The Samaritans and Jews did not like each other at all. This Samaritan man knew on sight that the injured man was a Jew. Yet, he began binding his wounds, carried him to an inn in the town, and nursed him until he had to leave. Then, he paid for the injured man to stay at the inn until he was able to travel once more. Keep in mind that the man’s own people would not even stop to check on him.
According to Jesus answer in Luke, anyone we encounter is our neighbor. That opens it up, doesn’t it?
There are 4 different Greek words that translate to the English word love. The love used in Mark 12:31 means to care for them in a social or moral sense according to the Hebrew-Greek Keyword Study Bible. Basically, we need to want what is best for people and when we see a need that we can help with we should act. Ask God to help you be wise and discerning in how you need to help people.
In Romans 13:10, Paul states that “Love does not harm its neighbor. Therefore, Love is the fulfillment of the law.”
We all pretty much do love ourselves in the sense that we take care of our bodies and concern ourselves with our own well-being. Some would say to love ourselves is pride and should be avoided, but a healthy, biblical love for ourselves is not prideful or sinful. We know from 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 that we are to take care of our bodies. As in everything, we can go overboard so we must seek God to do this in a balanced way.
“There is no commandment greater than these.”
There are many laws/commandments in the Old Testament. They are the 10 Commandments but then there are other ones that expound on the 10. When Jesus said these were the greatest 2 commandments, He could say this because these two encompass the other laws.
So How Do We Apply This?
As we finish up our time in this beautiful passage, I, myself, want to begin looking through the wide-angle lense and applying these verses as instruction to help me get and stay focused on the meaning of life and my purpose in this life. How about you?
A Road Map
We know that we are to glorify God with our lives but this passage really gives us a good roadmap to do that. It is not only a beautiful passage but it is actually a “nuts and bolts” kind of instruction that can moment by moment, decision by decision, really change our lives and help us to glorify Him more fully.
Thank You, Lord, for Your Word. Thank You for teaching us and equipping us to glorify You and walk closely with You. I am so grateful to You for everyone who is on this road with me. I ask You that You will bless them and help them to see clearly, how You want to use them for Your glory. Please make us what You want us to be and help us to be completely Yours. Help us to love You more and more each day! In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen.
Go Deeper Today: