NOT THAT FAR

“Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, ‘You are not far from the Kingdom of God.’ And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.” Mark 12:34

Although I’ve flown several times, I would never consider myself a pilot. However, in hearing pilots explain navigation, there is a simple rule to follow. If your desire is to get from point A to point B, then your coordinates must be precise. To hear a pilot explain it, you don’t have to be but a just degree or two off to end up at the completely wrong destination, and that’s especially true the farther you travel. So, the question is, how “far off” is acceptable? Well, again if you ask a pilot, being off any isn’t acceptable at all. When Jesus encountered the teacher of religious law who asked Him what the greatest commandment was, it seemed that his question to Jesus came from a sincere heart. And, Jesus’ reply was from the same vein by which He had answered so many other questions.

Jesus brought the law to its most pristine standard, and He did so in order to show His Jewish listeners, teachers and Pharisees, that in no way would they ever be able to fulfill the law in their own power and ability. He wanted them to understand that they were helpless and would need the help that only a Savior could give them. 

It was a bitter pill to swallow because so many had gotten to the place where they thought they could actually do it and relied on their own self-righteousness. Although it sounded like a manageable formula for them to hear that the whole law can be summed up by “loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself,” the truth is that no one can do it. 

Jesus told that teacher that he was almost there, but not quite. So, what was he missing? The simple truth that the Kingdom of God, God’s New Covenant way of doing and being, would not be about what we could do, but what Jesus has done for us. Jesus kept the law to perfection, and then as the “Spotless Lamb of God” became the sacrifice that took away the sins of the world forever. All we must do is simply believe on Jesus and Jesus alone. 

Today, as a believer that has put your faith in Jesus, you can rejoice because you’re not “almost there” but you are completely there.

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