Put In Your Place

The occasion of Mark 12:34 is one in which Jesus is being quizzed by some of the religious leaders. One of the leaders stands up and asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was. Jesus answered with the Shema which is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” He added that we are to “love our neighbor as our self.” If you diagnose the 10 commandments you will find that they break down into these 2 sections of commands. Love God and then Love people.

The leader recites back to Jesus what he had just said and commends him as answering correctly. He didn’t try to fight Jesus or try to trick him. He didn’t try to follow up with another question so as to convict Jesus of blasphemy. He adds to what Jesus said by saying these actions are better than sacrifices. This man was truly understanding what it meant to follow Jesus. Jesus tell him that he is not far from the kingdom of God!

The last line of verse 34 is very interesting. Mark writes that from this point forward no one else asked him any more questions. Jesus had put his entire belief system into a nutshell and there was nothing else to be asked. The only question left to be asked was “are you going to believe or not?”

This is where we are left with Jesus’ ministry today. Jesus has been researched and verified for centuries. People have been skeptical of him and believed in him for the last 2000 years. People have doubted (even Doubting Thomas) and have been burned at the stake because they believed so wholeheartedly. Today we have those who believe and those who are skeptical. The question is really not the specific nuances of who Jesus is, but do you believe or not? Those who are skeptical shouldn’t push those of us who believe off of our center simply because they don’t believe. There is just as much literature being produced in our world that shares a belief in Jesus that is skeptical of Him.

Jesus puts us all in our place. That place is to believe or not. I for one believe in the name of Jesus and that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he is Lord one day. I don’t have any more questions about the authority or salvation of Jesus. How about you?