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March 11th 2018


MARK 12:28-34                                                                                                CLOSE, ALMOST, NOT FAR AWAY

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34 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.

  1. It is certainly normal for us to want to know the most important ASPECT of faith.
  1. Sadly, many people rely on unfounded ASSUMATIONS about faith matters.
  1. It may be that we already know the answer but have not ACCLIMATED our lives to it.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is the first passage of the Shema (hear), a prayer for the people of God 

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

  1. When we know the right answer, the only thing to do is ADJUST our lives to that truth rather than attempt to rearrange the question or deconstruct the answer.
  2. This teacher was ALMOST there. He simply needed to AWAKEN to the truth of Christ.

There must have been a look of love in Jesus' eyes, and a look of appeal as he said to him, "You have gone so far. Will you not come further and accept my way of things? Then you will be a true citizen of the Kingdom."                                                                                  William Barclay

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