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Mark 12:30 meaning...

This is a pivotal verse in the New Testament where Jesus imparts a profound teaching on the greatest commandment. 

  • The Greatest Commandment:

In this verse, Jesus is responding to a question about the greatest commandment. His response quotes the Shema, a central declaration of Jewish faith found in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6:4-5): "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."

  • Love for God:

Mark 12:30 encapsulates the essence of the greatest commandment: to love God wholeheartedly. It calls for a complete and undivided devotion to God, involving the heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is a deep and comprehensive love that encompasses every aspect of one's being.

  • Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength:

Each component mentioned in the verse highlights a different dimension of love for God:

Heart: This signifies the seat of emotions and affections. Loving God with the heart involves genuine, heartfelt devotion.

Soul: The soul represents the core of one's being. Loving God with the soul involves a profound and authentic connection with the Divine.

Mind: This refers to intellectual engagement. Loving God with the mind implies a thoughtful and intentional commitment to understanding God's will and ways.

Strength: This encompasses physical and practical aspects. Loving God with strength implies active obedience and service.

  • The Priority of Love:

This commandment underscores the priority of love for God above all else. It is a call to place God at the center of one's life and to recognize Him as the ultimate source of love, purpose, and meaning.

  • A Unified Ethical Framework:

Mark 12:30, when combined with the second greatest commandment in Mark 12:31 ("Love your neighbor as yourself"), provides a unified ethical framework. Love for God and love for neighbor are inseparable, representing the essence of Jesus' moral teachings and the entire Bible. They encapsulate the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:40).

  • Practical Application:

This commandment challenges individuals to live out their faith in tangible ways. It prompts believers to seek to understand and follow God's will, to worship Him sincerely, and to serve Him and others with dedication and love.


Deuteronomy 6:4-5: "Hear, O Israel: Yahweh is our God. Yahweh is one. Love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." This is the original Shema from the Old Testament.

Matthew 22:37-38: "Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.'"

Mark 12:30 presents the greatest commandment as taught by Jesus, emphasizing the profound love for God that should permeate every aspect of one's being. It calls for wholehearted devotion, sincere worship, and active service to God. This commandment serves as the foundation of Christian faith and practice, reminding believers of the supreme importance of loving God above all else.

See also: vs 31

Mark 12:30. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.”


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