The Two Greatest Loves

January 2, 2022   /   Clairemont Emmanuel Baptist Church

The Two Greatest Loves

Following the Servant

Mark 12:28-34

After a series of hostile encounters with Jesus earlier in this chapter, one might expect the next question to also be unfriendly, but it was not.  Jesus calls citizens of His Kingdom to love God first and to love their neighbor unselfishly.  This religious teacher is positive toward Jesus and later praises Him (in verses 32 and 33).  Jesus describes the man’s answer as having understanding and Jesus said he was not far from the Kingdom of God.

  1. We are commanded to 12:28–30


  • I’m to love God for (Mark 12:29)

Deuteronomy 6:4, 5 

“The Lord is one” means that He is unified and unique in essence and existence. 

Exodus 34:6, 7


  • I’m commanded to love God with (Mark 12:30)
    • Heart is about my emotions – the real me.
    • Soul speaks of the spirit – the self-conscious life.
    • The mind refers to my intelligence and my thought life. 
    • Strength is my bodily powers and my will.

“God is never satisfied with anything less than the devotion of our whole life for the whole duration of our lives”

-Sinclair Ferguson

1 John 4:10


  1. I’m commanded to (Mark 12:31–34)

“Jesus shows us that love actually defines the lawful life, [and] He shows us that the law actually defines the loving life . . .. When Jesus says all the laws boil down to love God and neighbor, He is saying we have not fulfilled a law by simply avoiding what the law prohibits, but we must also do and be what the law is really after—namely love.”                                                                                                                                    -Tim Keller

1 John 4:21

Romans 13:8, 9


  • Such love radicalized the call to (Mark 12:31)

The context of Leviticus 19:18

  • care for the poor (19:10),
  • not steal (19:11),
  • not lie (19:11),
  • be fair in business dealings (19:14),
  • care for the deaf (19:14),
  • care for the blind (19:14),
  • deal justly with all (19:15),
  • avoid slander (19:16),
  • not “jeopardize” the life of your neighbor (19:16),
  • not “harbor hatred against your brother” (19:17),
  • rebuke your neighbor when necessary for his and your good (19:17), and
  • not take revenge or bear a grudge against others (19:18).


  • Such love means (Mark 12:32–33)

1 Samuel 15:22, Proverbs 21:3

“For I desire loyalty and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6


  • However, being almost there, is . (Mark 12:34)

The lessons we need to take away from this passage:

  1. It’s entirely possible to grow up in the church, to have godly parents, and to a personal saving knowledge of Jesus. 
  2. It’s possible to study theology, and even the Greek NT, and never become a true Christian.
  3. It’s possible to hear the grace of Christ preached all your life and on your own goodness. 
  4. It’s possible to fool everyone, even the pastor, and not go to Heaven. 

1 John 4:7-12

John 13:34, 35


Daily Meditations

Memory verse: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:28-34



Read Mark 12:28-34. Which of the Ten Commandments do you consider the most important? Why?

What does the lesson of John Wesley’s life teach you?



Read Mark 12:28-34.  How do you think most of your friends who aren’t Christ followers define love?

How does their definition compare to what the Bible says love is?



Read Mark 12:28-34. Why is it important that God is “One”? Why did this cause the Jews to resist Jesus’ claims to be divine?

In what way is the command to love God completely, more difficult than the Ten Commandments?



Read Mark 12:28-34. How is obedience to these two great commands different from observance of religious rituals?

How do you explain that God commanded Israel to observe so many sacrificial rituals? Read Galatians 3:19-26. 



Read Mark 12:28-34. What is the connection between these two great commandments and the concept of a relationship with God through Christ?



Read Mark 12:28-34. How was Jesus an example of absolute love for God?

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