Mark 12:28-44 The Message Bible

The Great Commandment

28  One of the religion scholars came up. Hearing the lively exchanges of question and answer and seeing how sharp Jesus was in his answers, he put in his question: "Which is most important of all the commandments?" 29  Jesus said, "The first in importance is, 'Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; 30  so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.' 31  And here is the second: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' There is no other commandment that ranks with these." 32  The religion scholar said, "A wonderful answer, Teacher! So lucid and accurate - that God is one and there is no other. 33  And loving him with all passion and intelligence and energy, and loving others as well as you love yourself. Why, that's better than all offerings and sacrifices put together!" 34  When Jesus realized how insightful he was, he said, "You're almost there, right on the border of God's kingdom." After that, no one else dared ask a question.

The Question about David's Son

35  While he was teaching in the Temple, Jesus asked, "How is it that the religion scholars say that the Messiah is David's 'son,' 36  when we all know that David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said, God said to my Master, "Sit here at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." 37  "David here designates the Messiah 'my Master' - so how can the Messiah also be his 'son'?" The large crowd was delighted with what they heard.

Jesus Denounces the Scribes

38  He continued teaching. "Watch out for the religion scholars. They love to walk around in academic gowns, preening in the radiance of public flattery, 39  basking in prominent positions, sitting at the head table at every church function. 40  And all the time they are exploiting the weak and helpless. The longer their prayers, the worse they get. But they'll pay for it in the end."

The Widow's Offering

41  Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. 42  One poor widow came up and put in two small coins - a measly two cents. 43  Jesus called his disciples over and said, "The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. 44  All the others gave what they'll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn't afford - she gave her all."

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