READ : Mark 12:28-34
“Not far from the kingdom.” (v. 34)
With more than half the people we have met in these readings I find this phrase lurking at the back of my mind. They were “not far from the kingdom.” So many made aware of God’s kingdom, in a variety of ways—colliding with it unexpectedly, or drawn to it from great distances. Some belonging to it in name but not in fact, others, in fact though not in name. Where exactly in relation to the kingdom does this scribe stand?
He is posing a test question. It comes at the end of a series of attempts to entrap Jesus and destroy his credibility. Yet this questioner cannot hide his admiration for Jesus’ answer, and he finds that in the process he himself has been tested and his answer too is approved.
But still . . . “Not far from the kingdom.” Did he actually get there? Shall we meet him when one day the kingdom comes in its fullness? The queen of Sheba will be there, and the lady of Shunem, and the centurion of Capernaum. The rich young ruler? I hope so. This scribe? We just don’t know, do we? Still, “the Lord knows those who are his” (2 Timothy 2:19), and we can leave every such query in his gracious hands.
Hear our prayers, Lord, for those we know who are not far out, yet not quite in.