The Daily Fountain Daily Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 28 July 2019 – Near But Far
TOPIC: Near But Far
READ: Mark 12:28-34 King James Version (KJV)
28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:
33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.
Genesis to Deuteronomy contains more than 600 laws given by God to the children of men. A teacher once asked Jesus to tell them the most important or the first commandment. Jesus wisely categorised or reduced the laws into two simple principles: (a) love for God (Deuteronomy 6:5), and (b) love for our fellow men (Leviticus 19:18). This means that if you truly love God and also love and care for your fellow men, you have fulfilled the purpose of the ten commandments and other laws. This is because these two commandments summarise all the laws of God. If you love God, you will not disobey Him by committing sin. If you love your fellow men you will not do anything that will injure him.
In verses 32-34, Jesus acknowledged the scribe’s great understanding of the importance of love, and yet told him that he (scribe) was not far from the kingdom of God. This means that the scribe was not yet in the kingdom of God. This shows that the scribe had more to do than just having the intellectual knowledge of the importance of love. Love must be practised. No matter your level of morality, almsgiving or donations to the Church, if you have not received Jesus as Lord and Saviour, you are not far from the kingdom of God, but you have not entered the kingdom of God.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, come into my heart; be my Lord and Saviour and mercifully incline my heart to keep Your laws.