TEXT: Mark 12:28-34
READING: Deuteronomy 6:1-15
SUBJ: Trinitarian concepts expressed in the Old Testament and Gospel preparedness manifested in the New Testament witnessed the question of the Scribe and the answer of our Lord.
AIM: That we might be so devoted to our Trinitarian Lord – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
INTR: Our Lord often seized upon the very things the Jew sought to use against Him. He would bring those things to the light of the Gospel.
1. The Kingdom concepts of the Jews were physical and superficial.
2. As compared to the spiritual relationship with the Lord depicted by Moses.
3. What these men missed was that there had to be more than one in order for there to be a claim of unity and unification.
THESIS: While one must be born again to enter the Kingdom, there is knowledge of Christ and the true identity of God that comes with it. This man was not far from the things realized in the Kingdom.
I. The question of the Scribe (v. 28)
1. Broad phylacteries. See Matthew 23:5. They were strips of parchment with four scriptures written on them – Exodus 13:1-10, Exodus 13:11-16, Deuteronomy 6:4-9. And Deuteronomy 11:18-21.
2. This was what the man seemed to expect as a correct answer to his question.
3. He had seen something in the previous responses to attempts to entrap Him. There are three significant things here: He heard, he knew, and he asked.
4. Therefore, we may conclude that he had the answer in mind that he expected and that it was not his intent to entrap Christ.
II. The Answer (Verse 29)
1. “Hear O Israel…” from Deuteronomy 6:4 is said to be written in large letters in the Hebrew Scriptures.
2. The ultimate declaration of faith and unity in the Godhead (not a declaration of solitary existence).
1) The Lord (Jehovah)
2) Thy God (Elohim). The same term is used in Genesis 1:1. It is called out by some in three degrees of existence. (That is over my head but suggestive that the Trinity was understood)
3) One Lord (Jehovah)
3. Coupled with the first and chief commandment of the Law -- v. 30.
1) Heart expresses affection,
2) Soul declares sincerity from our very essence,
3) Mind is filled with thoughts of Him and looks to an expressive imagination.
4) Strength speaks of expressive endeavor.
4. Thy neighbor as thy self – personal sacrifice after the example of Christ.
III. The analysis
1. Perhaps the Scribe was surprised but, he recognized a proper respect in the answer – “more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
2. We note that he repeated the commandments almost verbatim. (He used understanding – intellect or putting together mentally -- for mind)
3. He saw that what our Lord declared went far beyond mere ritual offerings. See 1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
IV. The conclusion
1. A wise answer -- discreetly
2. Leaving him not far from the characteristics of the Kingdom
1) The rich young ruler
2) The five foolish virgins
4) Even Nicodemus
3. But it was as far as he could come short of regeneration and seeing Jesus as the Christ.
1) The seriousness of this is that these things may be seen but not experienced at the level required in the Kingdom of God
2) Regeneration, repentance, and faith brings us fully into the Kingdom (Ye must be born again)
3) And then the things required are manifested in the very nature of believers.