`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ Mark 12:30 (NIV)
Here we are in the Presence of Jesus. The scholars and teachers are pressing Him on important issues. All those who care to know are fascinated by His words. Is He cutting incisively through the chaff and getting to the core of our beliefs? Is He getting past the outward and external expressions and theories? Is He getting to the heart of Man´s relation to our Creator and God?
Jesus is demonstrating that He is not dedicated to men but to uplifting and focusing our attention on the Father. On seeing this, a wise teacher of the law is moved to ask Jesus another question. He too is pure enough to realize that there are lesser themes. So he is bolstered to ask Jesus what should be the most important thing? Others are focused on one command or another. But this honest seeker of truth wants to hear from Jesus what He will say is the most worthy of all our pursuits. Jesus says simply, “The Lord our God, the Lord is One!”
Our Savior draws our attention by saying, “Hear O Israel!” Is He making us stop to think? Is He reaching us? Is He asking us to take a moment and let His words sink in? Does He want us to know that this is important? Does He want us to listen? Do we hear?
Then He goes on to lay it all out for us. He starts with the heart. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart!” He elaborates and gives us more parts of the same teaching. But shall we break it down? What does it mean to love with our entire heart? Does it mean we can save some parts of our heart to love something else? Does it leave us the impression that there are parts of our lives that we can still cling to? Or should we give way in free abandonment to a raging love which consumes us and controls us? Is it a love that drives us after the Object or One with Whom we are enraptured with? Does He start with the heart because it is the root from where all else stems?
The very next part Jesus draws our attention to is the soul. Should we give the very essence of our beings over to the Lord in love too? Does this leave us as the one with the final say as to where we place importance on things? Or does this mean that in love we would offer our God the right to place value on all other things and where our affections should lie?
After the first two Jesus directs us to consider the mind. Is this the part of us which distinguishes us as human beings? Is this a very powerful tool which can lead us Heaven-ward or earth-ward? Does our Savior ask us to devote even this muscle completely over to our God in love?
Lastly Jesus mentions strength. Is this because our strength is really no strength at all? Even the most powerful man on earth, isn´t he still just a man? What strength do we really possess? Can we lift mighty loads or is that strength limited? Can we exercise our mental powers to reach unlimited heights? Or is that too with many limitations? Is our real strength something that our God supplies? Do we find true ability to do anything at all, to be a quality given to us as well? Is our Creator the One who supplies each of us with strength or is it something we possess of ourselves? Should we realize where strength comes from and turn it too towards loving the One Who concedes it to us?
Dear Jesus, help us see that our God is the most important! Help us to offer our Lord our entire hearts, our entire souls, our minds, and all the strength that You give to us! Let us we pray, give all over to a raging love for our Heavenly Father!