“And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.”
King James Version (KJV)
12:34 Jesus said to him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God - Reader, art not thou? then go on: be a real Christian: else it had been better for thee to have been afar off.
Mr 12:34 Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. This commendation, not given by Matthew, is given because the scribe had declared that outward obedience amounted to nothing unless the heart was right. Pharisaism consisted of forms and paid little attention to love, mercy, and purity of heart. Alford says: ``This man had hold of that principle in which law and gospel are one. He stood, as it were, at the door of the kingdom of God. He only wanted (but the want was indeed a serious one) repentance and faith to be "within" it. The Lord shows us here, that even outside his flock, those who can answer discreetly, who have knowledge of the "spirit" of the great command of law and gospel, are nearer to being of his flock than the formalists; but then, as Bengel adds, "If thou art not far off, enter; otherwise it were better than thou wert far off".''