Thursday, February 16, 2012

Not Far From the Kingdom of God

Mark 12:28-34 (ESV)
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?" [29] Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. [30] And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' [31] The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." [32] And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. [33] And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." [34] And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

You are not far from the kingdom of God. Disturbing statement. It disturbs me. I instantly want to know what is meant by this. Is it better fro me to be close to the kingdom of God if I am not in it? What does it mean? Well, I’m not sure it needs to be disturbing, though undoubtedly it gave the young man something to think about.
Thing is all the others who are asking Jesus questions leave disappointed, even if they are impressed by Jesus answer. They have not changed their attitude towards Jesus himself. This scribe comes and it is as if he doesn’t really know what is going on, but figures since everyone else is asking questions, I’ll throw one in too. Perhaps he is just feeling Jesus out. In any case, he finds that he is in agreement with Jesus, and enthusiastically shows it. Jesus then tells him he isn’t far away from the kingdom of God. Infact he is standing before the kingdom,. Jesus is right there. But he gives it cryptically to give the man some things to think about. This scribe will see Jesus crucified, will see him resurrected, will witness Pentecost in all likelihood. And as he thinks on these words and wonders why one with whom he is in such great agreement with was crucified, he’ll come to understand the kingdom of God.

1 comment:

mollo said...

I read this and was instantly struck by what we forget when we quote this- the recognition that God is One. It's an integral part of the first commandment!