I grew up on a farm with my Pa-Paw. From time to time he would teach me life lessons that have stuck with me. I remember one time when we were feeding cattle and I said something about enjoying “wasting time”. He stopped and looked at me and said; “Look at your watch for 15 seconds.” So I did and counted them off. Then he said: “That is 15 seconds of your life you will never get back. No matter how long you live you will never get that time back. It’s gone forever. Time is not something you should waste.” He told me that because he felt it was important.
In reading Mark 12 today I saw where Jesus answers a question about what was the most important.
One of the Jewish leaders asked Jesus which commandment was the most important?
It was a good question from their point of view. The Jewish leaders had developed 613 individual laws. They even tried to decide which ones were the “Big” ones and which were the “little” ones. And there was much disagreement among them on that point.
Here Jesus tells them the most important one:
“Love the Lord your God…”
And the teacher of the Law says: “Good answer…you are right”. ( I laugh at the irony here: Jesus, The Son of God is told; You give a good answer.)
But then look at what Jesus says in verse 34: “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
There are two very important points here:
1. Knowing the greatest commandment puts you in a place that is: “Not far from the Kingdom of God”
2. Knowing the greatest commandment is not enough to put you in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus said in John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” He even says the other side of the statement in verse 24 “He who does not love me will not obey my teachings”.
Let me see if I’ve got this right: Obeying Jesus = Loving Jesus.
Not Obeying Jesus = Not Loving Jesus.
So, Is there a way to know if someone loves Jesus or not?
Now I know some will say; “Isn’t that kind of harsh? Shouldn’t we be more “Tolerant”? After all, they are trying to love Him, right?
Well, back up and read John 14:23-24.
If we’re not careful this can become “overwhelming” and we can become” judgmental”. But that happens when you only look at what He says here from the “Obey Side”.
Next time I will look at these same verses from the “Love Side”