Sometimes in following Jesus we wonder what to do. Often as I read the laws Moses gave the people of Israel I'm relieved that I don't have to remember all those regulations. Though sometimes I wish Jesus would have just given me a list.
In Christ's teachings and those of the epistles of the New Testament we are given many principles by which to live. Principles, while easier to remember, are harder to follow. Sometimes you're left thinking or saying, "Just tell me what I need to do."
There are situations where it is difficult to weigh seemingly conflicting principles.
In ancient Jewish culture different rabbis taught differing hierarchies for the principles of the law. These hierarchies gave them direction when a situation involved multiple Biblical principles. It is with this in mind that Mark shared this story.
"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked of Him, 'Of all the commandments, which is the most important?'
'The most important one,' answered Jesus, 'is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second one is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.'
'Well said, teacher,' the man replied, 'You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but Him. To love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burt offerings and sacrifices.'
When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, He said to him, 'You are not far from the Kingdom of God.' And from then on no one dared ask Him any more questions." Mark 12:28-34
When we get into get into a pickle in which Biblical principles seemingly are at odds this is the filter we must put them through. The two commands listed in the story above are the greatest. So, when making decisions we must ask, "Does this demonstrate and/or ignite my love for God?" and "Does this demonstrate and/or ignite my love for others?"
Basically we must run everything through the filter of: Love God, Love People.
Some may think this makes life easier, and in a way it does. This filter does help us make decisions in our daily life. That being said, living by those two principles will require far more of us that any religious to-do list.
Love God, love people today.