Mark 12:28-34

I wonder if Jesus was encouraged by this one teacher of the law, who seemed to get it. 

Sure, it’s interesting that he would be judging Jesus’ answer to the question, but it was his job.  He basically affirms everything that Jesus just said.  But then he takes it a step further to acknowledge that what is done inside the temple courts where they are speaking matters little if a person does not love God and his neighbor (Mark 12:33).

And, judging by Jesus’ response to the man, I can’t help but think that it had to provide Jesus with some encouragement. 

After all, for the past three years He’s been arguing and discussing the technicalities and the purpose of the law with those in authority over the Jews.  This appears to be the first – and possibly only – time in the gospels that a scribe does not approach Jesus with hostile intent.  And it comes in the midst of much debate at the temple a few days before He would go to the cross.  I just wonder if it meant something deeply personal to Jesus.

I don’t think that Jesus felt like He needed someone to defend Him or His answers to their questions.

But I do think that signs of genuine belief among a group so determined to make a mockery out of Him must have been a salve to His soul.  He knew what had been said about Him – He knew that rejection was part of His suffering (Isaiah 53:3). 

But I don’t think knowing some of the ways you will suffer necessarily makes it any easier.  He would suffer immensely, but in the midst of those next few days, God would give Him several glimpses of fruit – those the Father would give Him (John 17:6).  And I think that, in His fully human nature, it might have been like breathing fresh air for a moment.

When I envision this scene, I almost wonder if the scribe’s answer made Jesus choke up slightly as He spoke:

“You are not far from the kingdom of God.” (Mark 12:34)

And I wonder if the scribe looked up into His eyes and saw his Savior.