“You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”

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The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”

In light of these two commandments, the real purpose of the burnt offerings and temple sacrifices becomes apparent. They, the burnt offerings and sacrifices of the old temple, simply are reminders to remember these two commandments. I wonder though how many viewed those burnt offerings and sacrifices as an only obligation to God? How many thought offering a few products was all that they needed to appease God, and I wonder how many made these offering to a temple priest with an appearance that they were offered to God with the truth being they were offered for a better standing in the community. I wonder how many offerings to God today are really payments for a better place in this life? Offerings so often can be given as payment or the fulfillment of a contract or obligation. In Jesus view though the only to approach God is with love, both in loving God, and in loving our neighbor as God loves us. Jesus approach is a total involvement with God that is never ending just as God never abandons us or fails to love us. It is a relationship that can not be made finite by the dictate of law, but instead is one that is as infinite as Gods love for us.

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