And when Jesus saw that [he] answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no one dared to ask him any more questions. Mark 12:34 NABRE
A scribe, a person well versed in the law, asks Jesus what is the first of the commandments. Jesus answers to love God is first and to love others is second. The scribe compliments Jesus’ answer echoing back to love God is greatest and to love neighbor as yourself is almost as important. Jesus who recognized the sincerity in the scribes question and response tells him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” This is an amazing response. Jesus has to know the scribes heart to know that this love of God and others is truly in the scribes heart. We tend to see Jesus challenged by the Pharisees and scribes and He usually gets the best of them in His responses. But here is a case where Jesus meets a person of leadership and respects the question and the answer, believing the scribe is near the kingdom of God. God’s kingdom is on earth as it is in heaven and this scribe is providing light to see that kingdom. Jesus’ praise of the scribe leads to two thoughts, one the scribes understanding of God shows he is not far from God, but he is not yet in the kingdom and so is being challenged to go further.
It would be wonderful to hear these words from Jesus ourselves. But the second part can be an inch that acts like a mile, we are near the kingdom of God but there is work to do to get there. Knowing to love God and love others is first, doing it comes second and then completely putting others before ourselves could be that final challenge that gets us beyond near the kingdom of God and actually in the kingdom of God.
Are you near the kingdom of God? Do you desire to be in the kingdom of God?Knowing to love God and love others is first, doing it comes second and then completely putting others before ourselves could be that final challenge that gets us beyond near the kingdom of God and actually in the kingdom of God. Click To Tweet
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