As we read Mark chapter 12, it is obvious that the religious leaders of the day were consumed with a lot of irrelevant activity, such as how long their prayers were, how they dressed going to the temple, where they sat in the Holy Place, how they were greeted in the marketplace. Yet, we find Jesus highly valued relationships, as can be seen in the attention and time He invested in the 12 disciples and in His compassion for hurting people He encountered. When Jesus was asked what is most important of all, His answer revealed that relationships are at the top of the list. He did not say that religion or traditions of man were important.
Jesus answered, “The MOST IMPORTANT is ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one. LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR as yourself.’ There is no other command greater than these.”
Mark 12:28-31 (emphasis mine)
So, what difference does this make in your priorities as a follower of Jesus? Are you valuing relationships in your life—first, vertically by loving the Lord with all your heart, and then horizontally by loving people who are closest to you and expanding out to others?
Abba Father, my heart is filled with gratitude toward You for making clear to me what my life priorities should be. May I be all about loving You and loving others as You have loved me. I delight in Your steadfast love for me. May I express the love of Jesus that I am experiencing from You this day. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen!