The Lord, the Law, and the Love of God

Study Guide

In this passage, Jesus addresses the Jewish leaders who will eventually have him executed. As they seek to trap him theologically, Jesus simply and powerfully summarizes what it means to follow him—love God above all else and love your neighbor as yourself. This command should inform every aspect of our lives as believers
The Lord, the Law, and the Love of God
  1. Jesus makes it clear that God wants all of us—heart, soul, mind, and strength. Yet, we are often distracted by things the world promises will fulfill us. What are you tempted to trust in or pursue in place of God (prosperity, security, relationships, comfort, etc.)?

  2. As you consider what it means to love your neighbor, take some time to reflect on how God has loved you. How can you intentionally focus your energy on remembering what God has done for you and how it has changed your life?

  3. Who is your neighbor? Consider your family, friends, coworkers, or others whom God has placed in proximity to you. What would it look like for you to love them as you love yourself?

  4. Evaluate your spiritual health. We all have work to do, but does the call to love God and love your neighbor seem out of reach? If so, what next step can you take towards getting spiritually healthy?

Key Points
  • When asked about the most important commandment, Jesus begins by reminding the Jewish leaders of a familiar truth—there is only one God. We should also reflect on the reality that God is all we need.

  • The command to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is compelling and multi-faceted. We see three truths here:

    • God wants all of us.
    • Obeying this command is a lifestyle, not a one-time event.
    • God is jealous for us.
  • We know that the term neighbor is all-inclusive. Jesus wants us to love all we come in contact with, even our enemies. And the extent to which we love our neighbors reveals the depth of our love for God.

  • Jesus further instructs us to love our neighbors as ourselves. This means we should be willing to make the same effort and sacrifice for others that we make to gain our own desires

Other Scripture References

Scripture: Mark 12:28-34

Topics: Love, Neighbor