There is a difference between what Jesus says and what a man hears. It is a hard issue. A heart issue. Here is today’s example. In today’s Bible reading, in Mark 12, Jesus talks about the reality of God and of the words of God which become life and spirit to those who hear, believe, receive as their own possessions and practice (John 6:63). He teaches that God is living and is over and above all the lives, time and history that human know of.
Note the conversation between Jesus and the well-schooled scribe (learned and recognized scholarly authority on the Law of Moses). See the difference between what Jesus says about loving God in a personal relationship through His words, and the interpretation of the scribe who places the command of God at a distance from him.
Jesus says, “you”, “your”. The scribe replies, “the”. I have seen countless such distancing examples. Yet many Christians cannot understand why they cannot hear God. Why they cannot have a close relationship with God. The difference is the distancing of oneself when one receive the words of God. God is a personal God, and not a God in the distance, nor a God in history. He is not the God of a neighbor. He is my God. He is your God.
(The Scriptures are quoted from the Holy Bible NKJV unless otherwise noted.)
24…“Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.”
28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving[b] that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”
29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’[c]This is the first commandment.[d] 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[e] There is no other commandment greater than these.”
32 So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. 33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul,[f] and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
But after that no one dared question Him.
Today’s reading from the Holy Bible: Mark 12:18-37; Numbers 4:1-5:31; Proverbs 10:26; Psalm 35:11-18