And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly
Wisely and prudently, as a man of sense and understanding; by taking in the several parts of our Lord's answer very distinctly, and reasoning upon them, and confirming them:
he said unto him, thou art not far from the kingdom of
not meaning from heaven, and eternal happiness; for right and distinct notions of the above commandments, and even the performance of the in by a sinful and imperfect creature, can neither give a man a title to, or bring him near, or introduce him into the heavenly glory, which is a pure gift of God's grace; but our Lord's sense is, that he was not far off from the Gospel dispensation, and was in a fair way of entering into it; his sentiments were very near to such, who became followers of Christ, and embraced the doctrines, and submitted to the ordinances of the Gospel state: since he preferred those things, which related to the knowledge of the being and perfections of God, to the love and worship of God, and to the good of his neighbour; before the ceremonies of the law; which were quickly to be abolished, and make way for the setting up of the kingdom of God, or of the Messiah, in a more glorious and visible manner. Indeed there are some persons, who seem not far off from the kingdom of God, in the other sense of the phrase, as it may respect eternal glory and happiness, who will never enter into it: there are some that seem very devout and religions; hear the word, attend on all ordinances, join themselves with a church, submit to baptism, and sit down at the Lord's table, and live a moral life and conversation, and yet are destitute of the grace of God: yea, there are some who have clear notions of the Gospel, and make a bright profession of it, and yet have no experience of the power of it upon their hearts, and have not the oil of grace there: and even hold this profession to the end, and yet come short of the kingdom and glory of our Lord Jesus: such are almost Christians, but not altogether; virgins, but foolish ones; have lamps, but no oil; come as far as the door, but that is shut upon them.
And no man after that durst ask him any
in any captious matter in order to ensnare him; finding they could get no advantage, or occasion against him that way; he having silenced the Herodians, Sadducees, Scribes, and Pharisees.