And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said to him, You are not far from the kingdom of God…
A man may be almost in possession of a fortune; but that adds not to his credit at the bank. A man may be almost honest, or almost sober; but that will be no recommendation to a position of trust and responsibility. And as with these, so with the kingdoms of mental force, health, and social influence; nearness is not sufficient. How near it is possible to be to the kingdom of God without being in, we know not. Nor do we know how it is possible to remain near without entering; unless it be that those who are near mistake nearness for, possession. Notice:(1) A man is not necessarily in the kingdom of God because an intelligent inquirer. Distinguish between questioning with a view to information, and questioning with a view to disputation.
(2) A man is not necessarily in the kingdom of God because he knows truth when he hears it. We may assent to all Christ's utterances, and yet have no affection for Him as Saviour. It is possible to make a false god of orthodoxy. A man may be a capital judge of the soundness of a sermon, an adept as regards scripture knowledge, and yet only "not far from the kingdom."(3) A man is not necessarily in the kingdom because he can answer questions on Christianity. You may know the creed without knowing the Christ. Mere knowledge is not enough. You must repent, confess, believe, serve.
(J. S. Swan.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.