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“Not Far From the Kingdom of God”

In Mark 12:28, when a scribe was impressed by the answers of Jesus, he posed a question about the foremost commandment. Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Leviticus 19:18. The scribe readily agreed and Jesus told him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God” (v. 34). I imagine this statement was meant to stimulate and challenge him to further thoughtful reflection and decisive action. Are there sections of your spirituality where you’re not far from the kingdom?

  • Are you “not far” in your faith? You should be adding to your faith (2 Peter 1:5-8) so that it will abound (2 Corinthians 8:7). Faith left to itself often sinks against the crashing waves of the world.
  • Are you “not far” in your doctrine? You should give attention to doctrine (1 Timothy 4:16), for knowledge makes you strong and inoculates you against destructive heresies (2 Peter 2:1).
  • Are you “not far” in your morals? You should want to live holy or free from the deeds of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21), and then depend on the power of the gospel to deliver you from temptation (Romans 1:16).
  • Are you “not far” in your benevolence? You should dedicate yourself to the Lord (2 Corinthians 8:5) and devote your energies to helping humanity (Matthew 25:33-36; Acts 9:36).

Note that Jesus said you are “not far.” He didn’t say “good enough.” The woman caught in adultery had to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11). Even though the rest of her life could have been spotless, she had to press forward to please Christ. You will have to do the same in faith, doctrine, morals, and benevolence.

Kyle Campbell

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