“you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother;” Mark 7:12
Writing for Gentile readers, Mark explains the intricacies of some of the more obscure rules of the Pharisees, and how they violated the sacred intent of God’s Word.
They were not above breaking God’s law in the interest of their own human rules. The Old Testament clearly directs one to honor their parents (Exodus 20:12) such honor would include practical care for their needs. Through the tradition invented by the religious leaders, it was possible for a man to declare his possessions to be Corban – meaning dedicated to the temple; thus, absolving himself from the fifth commandment.
Jesus was attacking a system which placed rules over relationship. The command of God is to love first, but for the religious leaders, regulations were first. Jesus knew that any rule which prevented one from giving help where help was needed, was nothing short of a contradiction to God’s law of love.
As we read this verse, we are to learn to never allow rules to freeze our ability to love. Jesus was angry with the religious thugs, because they used their laws to break God’s command to love. They looked for loopholes to not love others.
All of our life is to be poured out through the love of God. As I love God, I will, as a result, love others. We are to be stirred by the love of God, that we would love God with all of our passion, prayer, muscle and mind. Love is that important!
The religious world focuses on “thou shalt not!” We have to place the priority on “thou shalt love the Lord with all we are, and to love others as we do ourselves.” This is the greatest command.
He commands you to love, and if He commands you, it means you can do it! He won’t ask you to do something you are not able to do. It means that love is controllable. Don’t dress up your love in commands and codes, don’t put loopholes in your love. You can’t just love the ones you like. Live from a place where we give 100% love, and discover what it means to give all, to love others as you love yourself.
In Gethsemane, Jesus didn’t look for loopholes. He said, “but Your will be done.” He gave Himself fully, and law fell over on grace. Love never looks for loopholes.
What’s it like for others to be loved by you?