Mark 12


Mark 12:30

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.’

(a) Love the Lord. Under the old law-keeping covenant, you were commanded to love the Lord your God with all your heart (Deut. 6:5, 10:12). The flow was from you to the Lord. But in the new covenant of grace, we love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). It is because we know the love of Christ (Eph. 3:19) that we are able to walk in his love (Eph. 5:2), keep ourselves in his love (Jude 1:21), and remain in his love (John 15:9, 10, 1 John 4:12, 16).

(b) All your soul. The original word for soul is psuche, from which we get our word psychology. This word is sometimes used in scripture to describe the soul-life we inherited from Adam, as opposed to the zoe– or spirit-life we receive from Jesus. See entry for New Life.


Mark 12:31

“The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

(a) Love your neighbor. This law, which comes from the law of Moses (Lev. 19:18), was quoted by Jesus more than once (Matt. 19:19, 22:39, Luke 10:27). James called it the royal law (see entry for Jas. 2:8).

(b) As yourself. “Loving others as yourself” can be contrasted with “Loving others as I have loved you” (see entry for John 13:34).

Under the old covenant, you provided the love and whatever else was needed to fulfil the law. But in the new covenant, we are able to love others because of the love we have from God (1 John 4:19). Under the old, you were the supply, but in the new, God supplies all our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Php. 4:19).


Mark 12:35

And Jesus began to say, as He taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?

(a) Taught in the temple. Jesus often taught and preached the gospel in the temple (Matt. 26:55, Luke 20:1). He did this because that’s where people congregated (Luke 21:38) and to fulfill the words of the prophet Malachi: “the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple” (Mal. 3:1).

(b) The son of David was another name for the Messiah. See entry for Matt. 1:1.


Mark 12:36

“David himself said in the Holy Spirit, ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET.”’

(a) The Lord. Jesus quoted Psalm 110:1 to show that David referred to the Messiah as Lord.

(b) Sit at my right hand. The Son shares his Father’s throne; see entry for Matt. 22:44.

(c) Enemies; see entry for Matt. 22:44.


Mark 12:37

“David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; so in what sense is He his son?” And the large crowd enjoyed listening to Him.

Lord. Fathers don’t call their sons Lord, yet David referred to the Messiah as Lord. How can he be both? The Pharisees could not answer (Matt. 22:46), but the implication was clear: The Messiah is more than David’s descendent, he is David’s Lord. He is more than the Son of David, he is the Son of God.


Mark 12:43

Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury;

This poor widow. Perhaps Jesus was not so much commenting about the widow’s generosity as he was marvelling at the rich who steal from the poor and “devour widows’ houses” (Matt. 23:14). The power of religion to enrich itself by stealing from the poorest of the poor was offensive to Jesus.

Further reading: “Jesus is your tithe


Mark 12:44

for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”

All she had to live on, meant she had nothing left to pay for food. First-century widows did not get welfare payments.


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