Are We There Yet?
Christopher B. Harbin
We like to know where we are. We like to know where we are going. We like to know when the journey will be over. What we often don't know is how to enjoy the journey while making sure we stay on course. At times, we may not even recognize the destination to which we are headed. That is part of the reason the kids like to ask form the backseat, ''Are we there, yet?'' They want to get out of the vehicle, arrive where they were told they were headed, and get on with life. If we are not on track, however, arrival is not imminent. What does it mean, however, to say we are not far off track?
On the one hand, being not far off track means we are not quite where we are supposed to be. That may or may not be a big deal. My GPS is always recalculating for me as I often refuse to follow it's directions exactly. At times, it just has not updated the road conditions and detours before me. At times, I don't understand where it wanted me to turn. Mostly, being somewhat off track is not much of an issue. There are times, however, when missing one simply instruction can make a world of a difference. It seems to me that it is that world of difference to which Jesus was pointing in Mark chapter twelve.
Here in Mark we find a scribe who had been listening to Jesus' interactions with various other religious leaders. On recognizing that Jesus had good answers for all of them, he brought his own question to Jesus. ''Which commandment is the primary commandment above all?''
We might want to look at this as a trick question, after all, it appears that some of the Pharisees, Herodians, and Sadducees had been trying to push Jesus into a corner. They were pulling out the questions they had often used to confuse others who saw things differently than they did. This scribe, however, may just as well have been simply testing Jesus to see how he would answer an issue among the scribes themselves. After all, the scribes were taske ...
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