5-16-21 “Inviolable Commands” Mark 12:28-34
The Video card on the computer went out and we couldn’t record our sermons for May 9th and 16th, but because there was some interest we will post my sermon notes. I’ve edited them somewhat to improve readability and hope they are of some benefit as you follow the Lord.
I suggest you click on the PDF but the sermon text is also shown below.
Petersburg Cumberland Presbyterian Church “Inviolable Commands” 5-6-21
Call to Worship: Deuteronomy 6:1-5 Sermon Scripture: Mark 12:28-34
AGD: It’s surprising that Jesus answers this question. If someone asked me which of my family is most
important I couldn’t say. All of the commands of God are important. Each one brings life and defends against
evil. Every command of God brings life and protects from sin, but which one is most important? Who could
Jesus has been answering equally serious but less sincere questions:
? Should we pay taxes? Who does a woman belong to after the resurrection?
Interestingly, even though the questions were more about proving Jesus wrong (good luck with that!) and
causing Him trouble, Jesus answers
? We should take heart in that. Do you have a question for Jesus? Is there a trouble or a confusion in your
? You can ask Jesus about it.
? Of course Jesus’ answers blew their minds. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have led to a change of
The third questioner of Mark 12, is a religious lawyer used to wrangling over theology and Scripture, but he
comes with more authenticity than the others.
Vs 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?”
? I don’t think the importance of authenticity can be overstated in our relationship with God
? God doesn’t want the fake version of you. God doesn’t want to fool with a you that is put on.
o How many time I have caught myself praying “as I should” instead of being real with God!
o God wants you, the real you, the authentic you, because God seeks a relationship with you—
warts and all
o This scribe got real with Jesus. The others came for a debate and got their confidence wrecked.
This man had a problem he’d been trying to solve for years and he brought it to Jesus
o We can never do better than to bring it to Jesus with vulnerability, humility and authenticity
28 b “ Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus knows.
Jesus knows the answer like the back of His hand. He knows the answer like He knows who was born, married,
or died yesterday. Jesus Christ is the incarnated Word of God—He knows the commands—He is the Command.
? Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:4-5. He knew it by heart before He had given it to Moses to write down
almost 2,000 years earlier. Jesus knew this truth before the world was even formed.
? You are created to love God
You can’t find the meaning of your life, or understand the things that befall and beset you, if you don’t love
? You might amass a fortune, but you will never gain true wealth if you don’t love God.
? You might have some happy times, but without love for God your joy will be incomplete
? You can build security, but you can’t be eternally secure until you love God2
You were created for relationship with God. It is the fundamental purpose for your existence. You might do
other things. There might be missions and ministries that you are called to do, but your ultimate purpose is to be
in relationship with God. It is the primary reason God created you.
? You were created out of love and for love.
? If you don’t get that down you will struggle to build anything else
Jesus says, vs 29b-30 “The most important [commandment] 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.’
? Love God with everything you have and are
Glenn and McKenzie got married yesterday. One of the most important phrases in their vows is, ‘with all
that I have, and all that I am, I honor you.”
? I choose you. I love you. I put you above all others.
? That’s what Jesus means to love God—love God authentically, wholeheartedly, earnestly, sincerely,
with all that I have, and all that I am
It was a great question and Jesus gave a great answer then Jesus gave a bonus. Jesus answered a question
unasked: what is the second most important commandment?
? Jesus couldn’t answer the first without moving on to the second because the two are linked.
? Vs 31 The second [most important commandment] is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
Some people find the first easier than the second. For some it is the other way around.
If we struggle to see the goodness and faithfulness of God–if our image of God is damaged or has become
distorted by fear– we may struggle to love God.
? We may be obedient out of fear, or avoid Him altogether, but where is the love?
? But here is the thing, if you begin with loving others (that is seeking their greatest good and offering
yourself in service to them) your love for God will grow. You will begin to see that God loves them
even more than you do. And that can germinate your own love for God.
? Shoot, keep at it and you will recognize that God loves you more than you can comprehend!
? Eventually, we reach a place where we experience the truth of I John 4:19 “We love because God first
But maybe you and God are ok– it’s that “loving others” thing that is the hang-up.
? Again, God’s own love is our cure.
Spend time with God in prayer for your enemies and those who have treated you poorly. You can tell Him how
you feel—lay it all out—God knows it anyway. But then leave some space for God to show you how God cares
Trigger warning! God’s love can be pretty offensive.
? God loves even despicable people. God offers forgiveness to even the vilest offenders. God’s love
extends to the most undeserving.
? You start asking God to reveal how He sees others, you may just be offended to discover how much He
Once you get over your offense, it might sink in that God loves you the same way!
? This is why it is so important to love others and do good for them. Not to indulge them or to approve of
their evil, but because when you do you will be loving people that God loves more.
So many of you helped out with the wedding. It was the biggest and best party we’ve ever hosted and you made
? Can you imagine how I felt as a father to see your love for my daughter?
? You have invested in my children since before they were born, and I love you for that.
? That must be a glimpse of how God feels when we love others
? When you love God, your love for others will grow
The question asked in our text is one of utmost importance.
? It seems evident the scribe had poured over Scripture, studied and debated with others this question
about the greatest commandment.
When I began with this passage I thought Jesus cheated on His answer. He named two commandments.
But as I worked, the obvious became evident. The greatest commandment is to love God. It is an inviolable
? But there is another inviolable command: love others.
The definition of inviolable is “never to be broken, infringed, or dishonored”
? Unassailable. Unable to be diminished, discounted or discarded.
Jesus says the two things we must all do are: love God and love others. You can’t get around these commands:
? You can’t get over them.
? You can’t do better, and you can’t replace them.
? And you can’t have one without the other
These two commands immutable, indivisible and inviolable
Therefore, let us love God and love others