Unlimited: Not Far from the Kingdom of God
Mar 8, 2021 495
“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions (Mark 12:32–34, NIV).
One of the religious teachers asked Jesus which is the greatest commandment in the law. Jesus answered that it is to love God and that the second commandment is to love our neighbour.
Now the same teacher showed that he truly understood what Jesus has said.
This man affirmed that what Jesus had said was right. He acknowledged that our duty to love God and our neighbour is above every other duty. Specifically, he said that the duty to love was more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.
This man was one of the very few people in the Gospels to receive a “well done” from Jesus for his theology. And he was courageous indeed.
Because when he said that love was more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices, you have to remember where he said it.
He said it in the temple, the centre of all those burnt offerings and sacrifices. It was the very heart of their religion.
Is it any wonder that no one dared to ask Jesus any more questions? He had put all of their supreme religious authorities to shame with his answers. And now what Jesus was saying was profoundly subversive to the established religion and to the temple itself.
Jesus, Love & the Kingdom of God
Did you notice that when this man understood that God wants to see whole-hearted love more than religious observances, Jesus said to him that he wasn’t far from the kingdom of God?
You see, the more we love, the closer we are to the kingdom of God.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: Is it the goal of your life to learn more of the depths of the love of God, so that you will be able to grow in your love for your neighbour more fully?