"Well said, teacher,” the man replied....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.
What an interesting reply: “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Especially when applied when applied to a member of a class of people that are more often than not portrayed negatively in the Bible. Especially when applied to a class of people that we have been taught in Sunday School were more concerned about the law than the spirit; more concerned over rules than with motivation of the heart.
You are not far from the Kingdom…you who try to do what is right. You who believe in One God and that to love him and your neighbor as yourself is what God’s will is truly all about. You are not far…You who help others, you who volunteer your time and talent, you who tithe your money, you who do not hold a grudge, you who encourage others, you who grant forgiveness, you who promote love, you are not far from the Kingdom; you who encourage the shepherd, you who support the life and work of the church; you are not far from the kingdom; nice words to hear from the great master teacher.
Nice words, yet, in the words “not far,” when you listen carefully; when you listen with your heart and soul and not so much with your mind and logic, it is possible also to hear that in the words “not far” we also find the implication, “there is still some distance yet to go.”
That we may be on the right track, that we might be moving in the right direction, but that none of us have yet arrived…..there is still some distance yet to go….in ALL of our lives, in all of our faith journeys, in our walk with the Lord, in our love of God...........there is still some distance yet to go.