Not Far from the Kingdom of God Mark 12:34
And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. — Mark 12:32-34 ESV
The problem with religion is that they abide by laws to the point the person observing them become enslaved to the laws out of obligation and to gain a perceived reward. This truly is in direct contradiction to what Jesus was always teaching. Jesus proposed performing the laws out of love, even without expectation of return or reward, rather than blind obedience. In essence Jesus’ command, which is extremely simple and oh so complicated, means we should strive to perform the laws out of love not worrying whether we have a reward. Doing this also reveals one’s love for God because they show their love from their own personal choice not in vain ritual. Strangely Jesus’ teachings wasn’t really a series of mostly “Thou Shalt Nots” like most of the commandments were written but rather a simple concept of loving another as one’s self which as He said is ultimately the fulfillment of entire law of God. Jesus’ command was and is you SHALL love… That is how Christianity is unlike almost any other religious system in the world. Sadly even the Christian church has fallen victim to the religion of rites and ritual as opposed to that of liberty of love. Do you do good deeds to save your own hide or with an expectation of reward or do you do good deeds out of love because God asked you too? Yes, it is that simple and yet that complex.
This image and verse were paired because it inspired us to think we can achieve the Kingdom of God if we just DO, out of love, what we should do, leaving fear, doubt, rituals, rites, and laws behind. If we only we could collectively grasp this concept and perform it then we would truly be the heavenly reflection of God’s will for each person in the entire world. I encourage you to spend some time meditating on that thought. I would say if we all could comprehend and choose to live this then we truly are not far from the Kingdom of God!
Feel free to use this Kingdom of God photo as a still image for on-screen presentations, print it, share it on Facebook, Tweet it, Pin-It on Pinterest, or whatever your heart desires for it. Maybe it can help you get your similar message across to your viewers. A high resolution version of this image without the wording on it is available for download at Creation7.com, it’s also FREE!
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