It struck me about five minutes ago that these are my last sermons in this Liturgical year. I’ll be away from both Knox and St. Mark’s Presbyterian churches until the second Sunday of Advent. Both congregations are in excellent hands so nothing to worry about there but if you come here for the next few weeks, all you’ll see is what is here now.
But enough of that, what did we talk about today? We talked about a conversation Jesus had with a religious leader. This is a well-known conversation because it is in all three of the Synoptic Gospels. It is in all three but there are differences between the stories. Mark 12:28-34 relates how a religious leader, or perhaps a scribe depending on your translation, asks Jesus, “What is the greatest commandment?” The question is also asked in Matthew and Luke but it is asked and answered with some differences. In all accounts Jesus says the greatest commandment isn’t one but is actually two, namely, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind and love your neighbour as yourself” but in Mark he begins with the Shema “Hear O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one.”
You may be saying, or asking, “So what? Who cares? What difference does it make?” Well, give one or both of the sermons a listen and hopefully you’ll know why it matters.