Mark 12:26-30

Mark 12:26 (KJB)
And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?

Jesus continues His dialogue with the Sadducees concerning the resurrection. Jesus goes to the Scriptures on this subject as He does all. There are quite a number of Hebrew Scriptures which speak of the resurrection such as Psalms 49:14-15. (Psa 49:14-15 KJV) Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. {15} But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah. However, the Sadducees did not accept the Hebrew Scriptures outside the five books of Moses. So what Jesus does is direct them to a passage of Scripture, Exodus 3:4-6 which speaks of the resurrection and that the believers are alive after physical death. (Exo 3:4-6 KJV) And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. {5} And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. {6} Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

Mark 12:27 (KJB)
He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.

(Exo 3:6 KJV) Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. In Exodus 3:6 the Scripture is stating that God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. If you notice, He did not say that He “was” their God, which means that this is in the present tense because they are still alive. This truth is stated in both verses which means the Old Testament Saints are as alive as the New Testament Saints. God is not the God of the dead as if He were some type of keeper of the dead but those whom He has redeemed from the time of Abel are alive and well in Heaven. Heaven is not a place of the dead but of the living.

Mark 12:28 (KJB)
And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

Then one of the group who was a lawyer with a questionable agenda had asked Jesus a question. (Mat 22:35 KJV) Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Now the term lawyer is not one that is like Perry Mason, a lawyer of the civil law but the lawyer here is one that is an expert in the law of Moses and that is why at this time he was the one asking this particular question. Mark has this person as a Scribe which technically there was no difference between the lawyer and scribe. The law of Moses contained 613 commandments. The 613 laws were divided into two sections. The first was the positive commands of which there were 248 and the negative commands of which there were 365. Both of these sections were subdivided into major and lesser commands. These divisions even contained a judgment on how hard the command was to obey. Out of this total number of commands, this scribe wanted to know which of these laws was the greatest.

Mark 12:29 (KJB)
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

(Deu 6:4 KJV) Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: Jesus starts out with the first verse from the Shema. He wants them to realize that the Lord is one Lord and not many gods such as a pantheon which were held by both the Romans and the Greeks, plus the old kingdoms such as Babylon and Assyria held to multiple gods which became a snare to Israel and Judah.

Mark 12:30 (KJB)
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Jesus did not go into any difficult explanation concerning the greatest commandment, instead He went back to Deuteronomy 6:5 for the greatest of these commandments. (Deu 6:5 KJV) And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deuteronomy 6:5 is the second verse of the “Shema” which later became the confession of faith in Judaism. (Deu 6:4 KJV) Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: The “Shema” affirms the unity and the uniqueness of God. The name “LORD” shows He is the covenant keeper and has revealed Himself in great deliverance when He delivered the nation of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. As God, (Elohim) from a root word in Hebrew which conveys majesty and power which means His people can trust Him in faith and love. Then the word “all” speaks about total submission and dedication and completely excludes any half measures. The heart is where all the emotions of a person emanate from and especially love. The soul is the center of the personality and is the bridge to the Spirit of God in a believer. This means that one must love the Lord God down to the very core of an individual, down to his will. The mind is where decisions are made and where things are analyzed. Their mind must be totally given over to the love and service of God and to make decisions which are in keeping with the attributes of God.