Mark 12:28-31
28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

The religious leaders of the law had been coming to Jesus asking questions. They hoped they might be able to trap Him in some answer where they could accuse Jesus of breaking religious law. One leader had been listening and so he asked Jesus a question out of his own desire to learn. The man asked what the most important commandment is. Jesus responded with two, to love God fully, and to love your neighbor as you would yourself.

Around Thanksgiving and Christmas there are holiday parties taking place. People invite others from all around to come and enjoy the festive occasion. They entertain their guests in their homes as though there were a part of their family. Jesus said we should love our neighbors as ourselves. The word used for love is the Greek word agapao, which means to welcome, entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly, and to be content and well pleased with. How would you feel about inviting a neighbor who had questionable character? What if you knew they participated in certain sins you disapproved of? If you disregard the commandment Jesus gave to love your neighbor are you subject to sin? Pray that you will learn to distinguish the sin from the sinner. Pray that you can love the sinner just as Jesus would.