Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” But after that no one dared question Him. (Mark 12:28-34)
There Is No Other But He
It is the nature of people to want to simplify things. Instead of complex and drawn out arguments proving a position, a clear demonstrative statement best serves the resolution of an issue. Studying the Bible can be seen as difficult and confusing but the truth lays in the fact God has always presented Himself in simple nuggets of wisdom. A man comes to Jesus and asked a simple question. He wanted to know what the first command of all is. With about seventy words, the Lord summed up the relationship of man with God and man with man. Responding to the answer, the scribe recognized that everything about life is founded on the truth there is one God and there is no one and no thing comparable to Him. Period.
The simplicity of the idea is astounding and powerful. Man must first come to the realization that God is one and nothing else matters. Moses begins the dissertation of God’s glory by showing in the beginning the Lord God created everything. This makes the Creator master of everything He creates. Light was established by the word of God, the world in all its glory formed by the word of God and man and woman created through the awesome design of an incredible Maker. The efforts of man to recreate the Lord God as a totem to worship are futile. Denying there is one God does not destroy the fact of one God. Isaiah’s argument against idols was to compare what a wooden carving can do against the hand of the Lord. There is no other but the Lord God.
For the Christian, the imperative of belief must rest upon the knowledge of one God and there is no other but the one Father. Accepting Jesus as the Son of God demands recognition of the authority of God alone. Jesus Himself humbled His will to the will of the Father because there is only one Father. The word of God is first, foremost and final. There is no appellate court. His word is the only word and His will is the only will. The Bible is the word of God and is the only book that man has been given to find salvation. No other book will bring eternal life but the message of God contained between Genesis and the Revelation.
Jesus commended the scribe for understanding the truth there is one God. Belief comes from the acceptance of the only authority in life will come from the throne of the one who created heaven and earth and created man. All men are the creation of one God. His will must be our will. The truth of one God is the only truth we have. When the judgment comes upon all men, one single thought will be foremost in our minds: there really is one God. The one question is this: do you believe there is one God and there is no other but He?
The denial of God is practically always the result of shutting one eye. It may be for this reason that God have us two. (C. A. Coulson, Science and Christian Belief, 1955)