Jesus Christ – The Divine Authority Figure
In the Gospel reading from the Mass for today (Mark 12:28-34), Jesus says something that is both wonderful and frightening:
 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?”  Jesus answered, “The first is, `Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one;  and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  The second is this, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”  And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he;  and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”  And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any question.
After offering an amazing synthesis of the complexity of the Old Testament, Jesus goes one amazing and awe-inspiring step further:
- The scribe correctly agrees with Jesus’ synthesis of the Old Testament (Mark 12:32-33).
- Jesus replies, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” We often just skip over little sentences like this; but we shouldn’t.
- Jesus is disclosing that: 1) There is a Kingdom of God, 2) He knows what it takes to get into that Kingdom, and 3) He can assess how close each person is to the Kingdom of Heaven.
- We might miss the magnitude of Jesus’ statement. But the crowd doesn’t: “And after that no one dared to ask Him any question.”
Jesus has Divine Authority that is based on the fact that He is the Divine Son of God.
That’s a lot of authority. We should reflect on Great Authority of Jesus often and be awed. Daily.