“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
A trained pilot will tell you that it only takes being off just a few degrees to completely miss your desired destination. Like so many other things, “being close” isn’t quite good enough.
When a pharisee asked Jesus to sum up the law, what he wanted Jesus to do was give him a manageable formula by which he could accomplish the fulfillment of the law. What Jesus did instead was bring the law to its most pristine standard, and in doing so, showed that pharisee, and us, just how much we are all in need of a Savior.
Although Jesus’s response may sound like a manageable formula to “love 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. Yes, the Gospel is about love, but not so much about our love for Him as it is about His love for us. 1 John 4:10 makes this so clear; “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
The simple truth of the Kingdom of God, God’s New Covenant way of doing and being, has never been about what we could do, but only about what Jesus has done. Jesus kept the law to perfection, even the love part, and then as the “Spotless Lamb of God” took away the sins of the world forever. All we must do is simply believe on Jesus and receive Him as our Savior. Then, His love pours into our lives and out to others.
Today, as a believer who has put your entire faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus alone, you can rejoice in knowing that you’re not just “almost there,” but that you are completely there.