Mark 12:28-34 The Greatest Commandment

Welcome back the group and acknowledge any new members. Share with them that the purpose of the group is to help people discover more about God and how He relates to their lives. Explain that anyone is welcome, and if they have other friends that they would like to invite to join, they are welcome.

Care

Begin the session by asking:

· What are you thankful for this week?

· What are you struggling with and how can we help?

Spend time praying for their concerns

Accountability

· How did you apply the lesson from last week? How did it go for you?

· Who did you share the story with, and what was their response?

Story: Mark 12:28-34

Relate the Purpose: Loving God and loving others are God's highest commands

Relate the Background: Jesus often was challenged by the religious leaders of His day. He was a threat to them and their religious system. They claimed to know about God and His ways, but they didn’t live by the same standards they set for the people. The scribes and Pharisees (the Jewish religious leaders) were trying to test Jesus by asking Him the most difficult questions they could think of to try to discredit Him. He answered them so well that one of the scribes was impressed, and asked him a sincere question: what is the greatest commandment in the Old Testament law? Jesus answered the scribe by citing an important passage from the Old Testament that reflects God's heart.

Read the Story: Either the facilitator or members of the group can read. Read it once with Bibles open with the members following along, and once with Bibles closed.

Mark 12:28-34

28 One of the teachers of the Law of Moses came up while Jesus and the Sadducees were arguing. When he heard Jesus give a good answer, he asked him, “What is the most important commandment?”

29 Jesus answered, “The most important one says: ‘People of Israel, you have only one Lord and God. 30 You must love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.’ 31 The second most important commandment says: ‘Love others as much as you love yourself.’ No other commandment is more important than these.”

32 The man replied, “Teacher, you are certainly right to say there is only one God. 33 It is also true that we must love God with all our heart, mind, and strength, and that we must love others as much as we love ourselves. These commandments are more important than all the sacrifices and offerings that we could possibly make.”

34 When Jesus saw that the man had given a sensible answer, he told him, “You are not far from God’s kingdom.”After this, no one dared ask Jesus any more questions.

Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Retell the Story: Have a group member retell the story in their own words. If they miss parts or misunderstand, ask the rest of the group to help them, or fill in what they have forgotten.

Ask Questions for discussion and clarification: These are sample questions you might use for this story. Also use your own. Let their answers to your questions do the teaching.