Reflections on Mark 12 – I love this chapter! There is much to reflect on, but the verse that truly changed my life is in the section :28-34, and :31 in particular. Do you have time for a little testimony, Beloved?
You see, when I started walking with Jesus in full measure, I fully understood and loved the number one commandment to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength; :30. And I thought I was doing an impressive job with the second commandment, to love my neighbor as myself, because I wrongly thought I loved others more than myself. I carried a lifelong burden of insecurity. It ruled my life; I was constantly making self-deprecating comments to show others that I held them in higher esteem than myself… Do you know what the truth behind this lie is? Insecurity was my idol; it came before God, and it devalued His gift of my life. It kept Jesus’s gift of my Salvation subdued. It was like getting a gift and loving it, but putting it in the back of the closet for safekeeping… To honor the giver is to delight in the gift.
You can imagine my joy when the Holy Spirit finally helped me see this! The reality was that I wasn’t truly loving others – I was desperate for approval. It’s a very hard way to live and a very hard thing for others to be around. It was not the life Jesus died to give me.
Beloved, the freedom of this realization was transforming for me! “The thief came to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 The more I delight in Jesus, the more I am able to delight in my life and the more love pours out on everyone! That is the heart of ‘loving my neighbor as myself’. Hallelujah!
Mark 12 covers many wonderful teachings of Jesus, The Parable of the Evil Farmers, shows the wickedness of the religious leaders. The trick of Taxes for Caesar was a ploy by those same leaders to trap Jesus. And the beautiful Widow’s Offering, :41-44, reveals how much Jesus treasures the heart behind the offering. Beloved, which of these parables or verses was Jesus’s gift to you today?