“Wisely answered, teacher!” exclaimed the teacher of the Law. “It is true, as you say, that there is one God, and that there is no other besides him;
that one is our one
doesn’t make it the only one
holding one dearly lordly
is holding another’s one humbly
to confuse our one and one
is to lay kindling for war
to be quick to claim one
misses the much more in one
one stopped short of one
isn’t much of one at all
so cool it lawyer types
it’s not all about you
Social criticism advocates see a radical critique of the sacrificial system in this conversation between Jesus and an unnamed scribe. David Rhoads writes in Anderson175:
…the Marcan Jesus gives place to moral behavior over against physical wholeness. Mark shows through the many healings that it is God’s will to make people whole. Yet, rather than cause someone else to sin, it is better to cut off one’s own hand and enter the rule of God maimed than to have two hands and be thrown into Gehenna (9:42–49)…. This concern for morality over ritual purity and physical wholeness is evident in the “wise” statement of the scribe that loving God and the neighbor with the “whole” heart is more important than all the “whole” burnt offerings and sacrifices (pure animals without blemish, 12:32–33).
Wright171, echoes this:
The lawyer, musing on Jesus’ answer, draws out a meaning which Jesus hadn’t said out loud but which was certainly there. If these commandments are the primary ones; if this is what worshipping, loving and serving God is all about, then all that the Temple stands for, the daily, weekly and annual round of sacrifices and offerings, is virtually unnecessary. When a crisis comes, loving God and one’s neighbor still matters; sacrifices don’t.
Going back to the basics is a revolutionary act after years and generations of institutionalizing later specific experiences and details that became generalized ways of mediating an initial insight. The same revolution would be available to Americans should they return to the basic that general welfare is the single most important factor for a common defense. Every institution needs to rise from its own ashes of accumulated memes and habits that cover its creation.