No Earthly Good

We need to focus on the bigger picture to be both heavenly minded and earthly good

We must demonstrate love for neighbor with balance and in light of the ultimate purpose of all things, and doing so without inflicting additional burdens (e.g. 613 Jewish Commandments) on each other in order to achieve it. “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”

 

There is, in my opinion, an overly extreme amount of focus and time dedicated to being an advocate for one cause or another these days. Whether it be an advocate for planet/animal preservation, racial inequalities, or gender inequalities all would be considered doing some earthly good with the time we have. The problem becomes, when one is so consumed with a cause, that they tend to lose site of the bigger picture.

When one who was well versed in the Law asked Jesus “Of all the commandments, which is most important?” (Mark 12:28). He may have wanted to know if it was greater to honor one’s mother and father than to not making a carved image as an idol or if it would be better not to covet anything of one’s neighbor than to not bearing false witness against them. We do know that he meant to test Jesus. Jesus responded with a two part answer.

Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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.’ (Mark 12:29-30)

This part one of a two part answer is important as it is a quote from Deuteronomy 6. This was a phrase that every Jew would recognize as it was something they would have repeated twice every day, morning and evening, since they were children. To understand this as the first and chief commandment in the law and the principal article of the Christian faith (namely, to believe that there is one God and to worship Him with one’s entire being and might) is very significant to us.

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