I’ve been a prof for a long time and had a lot of students… Let me tell you, It’s a lot of fun and very gratifying to get things right! I’ve seen happy dances, fist pumps, and high fives… I’ve heard shouts of joy, “yahoo’s.” and sheer exclamations of unutterable ecstasy (almost sounded like “speaking in tongues” … might have been). It really feels good to get things right… especially when someone with experience and expertise says you got it right!
There’s an account in the Bible that tells a story like that… I read it this morning…
“Now one of the experts in the law asked him (Jesus), ‘Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, ‘The most important is: ‘Listen, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.’ The expert in the law said to him, ‘That is true, Teacher; you are right to say that He is one, and there is no one else besides Him. And to love him with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices!’ When Jesus saw that he had answered thoughtfully, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God!’” (Mark 12:28–34 the NET Bible)
Now the “expert in the Law” was a smart guy… but he got it right when he answered Jesus, the Son of God, the source of all wisdom! And Jesus said so… “You are not far from the kingdom of God!”
Believe me, I want to get the answer to that question right as well! I want to KNOW what is most important! Not only do I want to know it… God help me live by it! Embrace it! Act on it! It think that’s probably what Jesus meant by the expert being “near the Kingdom” – he probably was right in theory… but probably hadn’t fully acted on it yet! Oh, I want to believe it and act on it! God help me to “love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and with all my strength!” … And then “love my neighbor as myself!” I’m confident if I do, one day I’ll hear the words I want to hear from the One that really matters… “Well done, good and faithful servant!” And then you talk about happy dances and fist pumps… (You’ll want to be there to see it!!)