Mark Has Some Good News, Part 53, Clarification Of Terms

Mark 12:

The Great Commandment

28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?" 29 Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 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.' 31 The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." 32 And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.


We tend to use scribes and Pharisees as junk drawer terms for hypocrites and such but there were some that figure Jesus out it seems


Here we have a scribe an expert in the law a person who would have known about "the messiah" but did not know about this Jesus guy. And so he asks a loaded question that sure to get at least a good debate going and finds that he and Jesus are on the same page. And then something unprecedented happens. Jesus compliments a religious leader.


We've seen him smash institutions and generally bring shame to the system of the day so expecting him to tear a righteous strip out of the guy would seem prudent. But seeing his heart and his understanding Jesus comes to a common understanding with him. It's not because he asked correctly or nicely or in a timely fashion. It's because he asked for clarity.


He didn't challenge God but he most certainly asked him a question and Jesus answered. Clarification isn't a sin, doubt and questioning is but asking God for more than job but a description brought a man from one side of a self righteous fence to another.


Where do we question a holy God that we should love with all we've got instead of asking for clarity?