August 15, 2018
Mark 12:13-14… And they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians to trap Him in His talk. And they came to Him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances and truly teach the word of God.
“For you are not swayed by appearances…” Would that be said of you? The men who spoke that to him were not actually honoring Him; they were ingratiating themselves to Him, hoping that a little well spoken flattery would help them in their cause. The question they asked him was a trick question; they hoped He would answer it wrong and put Himself at odds with the Roman government. Jesus’ answer did not put Him at odds with the Romans or the Jews. He answered neutrally, or as we might say, “He was politically correct.”
The people, even His detractors, knew he was not swayed by appearances. And He did not care about anyone’s opinion. He cares… but opinions will not pull Him away from the Truth. The Truth reigned supreme in all that He said. That is important to remember. If you have a red letter Bible, you can take all the words of Jesus, put them in a pot and melt them down. What you will have is Truth. People have a tendency to try to elevate one of His statements over another. Mostly, that is done to defend personal opinion.
We have our opinions and we look for words from Jesus to support our position.
Truth is found in the whole counsel of God, not in a sound bite.
Verses 28… And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that He answered them well, he asked Him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”
This guy thought he had Him trapped. How could Jesus answer that and not shrink the truth down to a statement? But Jesus answered with Truth.
Verse 29… Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear oh Israel the Lord our God, the lord is One… And you shall 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, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ There is no greater commandment other than these.” Jesus lumped 2 commandments into one.