You Are Not Far From The Kingdom of God

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

The rabbis of Jesus day had determined that there were 613 commandments contained in the Pentateuch, one for each letter of the Ten Commandments. Now this scribe apparently overheard Jesus declaring to the Sadduces of making doctrinal error completely, in teaching there is no resurrection. So he asked Jesus an honest question. It is so cool to know that we can come to God with our questions about our lack of understanding. We don’t have to be affraid like some school children that they’d be laughed at, for asking such a question. God sees our heart at all times, and knows every motive behind them. Where a dishonest question is a question that is not looking for an answer; it’s looking for an argument. An honest question is seeking for an answer, and willing to trust in its reply, I have heard the truth. So in our walk as Christians, there are alot of times when people will question your faith, yet, there questions are not sincere. They are looking rather to prove you wrong. Just know, they did the same things to Jesus, so your in good company. This fellow has an honest question that’s just burning in his heart. It is a question that should concern every man who has become convinced of the existence of God. You say you believe in God. Good! But don’t just stop there, find out what God is like. What are His thoughts about your life? You see, if you believe in God, and that He does exist, as you start to develop from that basic concept “God exists” then anything else learned about God, can only inhance your life about the One who created you.

Some people are fortunate to have grown up in a godly Christian home. And have believed in Jesus Christ from day one. But for most of us, He has been hidden by misguided religiuous practices and rituals, which do not make us any closer to the truth than of these synogogue rulers of Jesus day, who thought that in keeping of law of Moses, there were somehow more elite than everyone else. Yet, here Jesus, reading from the Shema, (Pronounced She Mah) in Hebrew, (Deuteronomy 6:4-5), which  means “hear,” Jesus confirmed the practice of every pious Jew who would recite the entire Shema every morning and evening.

Love the Lord—Taken from (Deuteronomy 10:12;30:6), Jesus used God’s own word from the Pentateuch (Hebrew meaning the first 5 Books of the Old Testament, written by Moses) to answer the question, indicating the orthodox nature of His theology. The Second command—Jesus took the Pharisee scribe’s question one step further by indentifying the second greatest commandment because it was critical to an understanding of the complete duty to love. This commandment, also from the Book of Moses (Leviticus 19:18) is of the same nature and character as the first. Genuine love for God is followed in importance by a genuine love for people. To love God supremely, should be demonstrated in how we obey the second commandment Jesus gives us in our text. When Jesus Christ becomes the center of our existence, the center of our lives, we won’t respond to others who have made themselves the center of their existence. For if we live self-centered lives, we negate God’s love demonstrated through us to love our neighbor as ourselves. The kind of love that God expects us to love with is to be like His love, that others can be drawn to God by. Jesus told His disciples before He went to the cross: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35). So you see, if you are a Christian today, there is no room for self-centered behavior, we must embrace this mind of Christ, and esteem others better than ourself (Philippians 2:3-5). First things first. Get right with God, confess your sins to Him, seek His abundant pardon. Then get to know your God. Read His Word, learn the Scriptures that declare what His will is for our lives. Love this God with all of your heart, then the rest will take care of itself. The second commandment will fall into order, loving thy neighbor as thyself.

Not far from the kingdom of God—You’re not far from the kingdom of God because the moment God became the center of your life, you are in the kingdom of God. That is what the kingdom of God is all about, having the King of the universe, Jesus Christ be sitting on throne of your heart. Jesus both complimented and challenged the scribe. Jesus acknowledged the scribe’s insight regarding the importance of love. Yet, by stating that the scribe was “Not far” from the kingdom of God by emphasizing that he understood the requirements of love, he now needed to love and obey the One who alone could grant him entrance to the kingdom.

Beloved friend, From 613 laws to just two, Jesus has made things more simplified for us. Yet, apart from His Spirit we have no power whatsoever to obey. He has made the way for us to enter the kingdome of God, and we have the opportunity daily, to live out His kingdom on earth. Jesus tells us: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened to him. (Matthew 7:7-8) Good doctrine is right thinking about God, others, and ourselves. Right thinking, in turn, allows us to truly and deeply love one another.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!

Author: rontrujillo

Married 37 years We have six children. All of whom are adult. Three are married one of them blessed us with three beautiful grandchildren. Retired Firefighter @ Boeing Aircraft 37 years (Formally McDonnell Douglas) Born Again Summer of 1981

2 thoughts on “You Are Not Far From The Kingdom of God”

  1. Normally I do not read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you, quite nice post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *