Final Thoughts on Mark 12:28-31
Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” NKJV
On this occasion a scribe came to Jesus and asked, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus essentially tells him that the greatest commandment is to love God with all of your being, and the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself.
Jesus’ answer must have been startling to this scribe. Of all the commandments (613 which are found in the first five books of the Bible), there are none as great as these two commandments? But in reality, all the commandments of scripture are summed up in these two (Mat. 22:40).
If you really love God with all your being, then you will not want to break the His commandments. If you really love God totally and completely, then you will not have other gods before Him, or make images that you bow down before, or take His name in vain. And if you really love your neighbor as yourself, you will not kill him, or steal from him, or lie to him, or covet what belongs to him. So if we get this principle down of loving God and loving others as ourselves, then obeying the Ten Commandments will come naturally.
Augustine said, “Love God and do as you please.” It is a provocative statement, but it makes sense. If you really love God as you ought to—with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength—then you will naturally do the things the commandments teach. Greg Laurie