Day 13 – 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?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 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. 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.” 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.
I am struck by Jesus’ final statement. “You are not far from the kingdom of God!” Not just because this man answered wisely, but because he was standing within inches of the Son of God, the Creator of the Universe, the one who would soon take the sins of the world on himself on the cross for us. “You are not far from the kingdom of God!” Powerful. Awe-inspiring. How close are you to the kingdom of God, to Jesus?
Rev. Andy Bales
President/CEO of Union Rescue Mission