Shakespeare, Einstein, and Galileo

by Paul Bonner

Spend some time reading and thinking about Mark 12:28-34.

One of the legal experts heard their dispute and saw how well Jesus answered them. He came over and asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”

29 Jesus replied, “The most important one is Israel, listen! Our God is the one Lord, 30 and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength. 31 The second is this, You will love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.”

32 The legal expert said to him, “Well said, Teacher. You have truthfully said that God is one and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love God with all of the heart, a full understanding, and all of one’s strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself is much more important than all kinds of entirely burned offerings and sacrifices.”

34 When Jesus saw that he had answered with wisdom, he said to him, “You aren’t far from God’s kingdom.” After that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.


What do Shakespeare, Einstein, and Galileo have in common? Probably quite a bit but, for our purposes here, it’s simply that history recalls their names. They are remembered. Whether it’s due to artistic talent or scientific contributions, their names are recorded in the chronicles of our human story.


Occasionally people are thrust into notoriety due to mere circumstances and not their own intentions. Alternately, our desire to be remembered often comes from vanity. Some people want to be rich and famous. Some want to be significant in their careers. Wherever or however the desire originates, we want our lives to matter.


And then we are faced with the tension of living a life of faith. We can choose whether our lives will serve God or serve ourselves. The scale tips in a selfish direction when we worry more about our personal remembrance. But if we use our talents, energy, time, and resources for God’s purposes, our legacy then tends to focus more on glorifying God than ourselves. We do well to remember Jesus’ words to the legal expert in Mark 12:


“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, You will love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” —Mark 12:30-31


Spend a few moments praying for that Scripture to be your guide and all that matters will remain. How can you leave a legacy of extravagant love for God?


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