It seems that humans are naturally drawn to celebrate in religion the things that are of lesser concern to God. We move towards those things that are visually impressive or look very devout while ignoring the love for others that God desires. We tend to value burnt offerings and sacrifices over loving God supremely and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves (cf. 12:28–34).
Therefore, Jesus once again finds himself instructing the people and his disciples on the nature of genuine religion (like Mark’s overall outline). Fresh off his answers to the questions we saw in last week’s passage, now it is Jesus’ turn to ask a question. And his question and the discussions that follow show us what genuine religion celebrates. Let’s look at the text together as it gives us three answers to the question, What does genuine religion celebrate?