Mark 12:34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God…”
In communication, it is important to repeat back what you’ve heard to confirm that your understanding is correct. A Scribe in vs 28 heard Jesus reasoning with skeptics who denied the resurrection of the dead. Having perceived that Jesus answered them well, he sought for better understanding of the commandments. And Jesus gave him the summary of the law, love God and love people.
In vs 32-34, the scribe believed the truth and reiterated it to confirm his understanding of what Jesus said. Jesus then confirmed to him that he was not far from the kingdom.
The parable of the sower in Matt 13:23 tells of different kinds of soils. The good soil is equated with those who hear and understand. Unlike the rest who questioned Jesus, this scribe had a different spirit which made him a candidate for salvation. We enter the kingdom of heaven through conversion. We are not far from the kingdom of God when awakened by God’s truth.
The scriptures, as Paul explains to Timothy, only makes you wise in preparation for salvation (2Ti 3:15). Conversion is essentially a new birth,. To be” not far from the kingdom of God” is to be on the way to the new birth, but not yet born again. Cornelius, in Acts 10, “was not far from the kingdom”. His heart was ready and God sent Peter to preach the gospel to Him. Examine yourself, are you in the kingdom or not far. In humility, God reveals. Jas 4:6, “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”