Doing the 21 Things (Mark 12:28-31)

Evening prayers with my daughter.

When my daughter was young, we would take time to pray every evening. We would often reflect upon the day’s events and attempt to extract life lessons. Eventually we made it to 21 lessons, or to what we referred to as “the 21 things”. Here are a few of them.

Give thanks to God
Learn something new
Listen carefully
Ask a good question
Promise to obey
Be kind to others when I go over or when they come over
Don’t lie
Don’t whine
Don’t have a bad attitude
Treat others the way you want to be treated

Phew! That is a lot to remember for an 8 year old girl! But if I were to condense it down to one or two “things”, it would have to be, Give thanks to God and Treat others the way you want to be treated. Not surprisingly, these are firmly grounded in the the Words of the Bible.

Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “ Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is:‘ Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. ’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this:‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. ’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:28-31

There were many Levitical laws or commandments that a devout Jew was required to follow. Thus, it was not unreasonable for this scribe to ask Jesus this question. Interestingly, Jesus does not quote the 10 commandments but instead quotes Deuteronomy 6:4 which condenses the entire Law into these concise statements.

Whether it is 10 commandments or 21 things, Jesus has made it clear what is most important in this life and for eternity. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.