The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, 'He is One and there is no other than he.' And 'to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself' is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." And when Jesus saw that (he) answered with understanding, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." (Mk 12, 32-34)
Jesus answered rightly to the question of the scribe. But the same Jesus refused to give a sign when he was demanded to give a sign.
He answers people who are close to the kingdom or those who are in the kingdom or those who could come closer to the kingdom. But if they question him just to test him then he is not willing to answer them.
So the criterion for Jesus to respond is not to reveal his knowledge or his ability but to the people of right intention.
Here in this passage a scribe is closer to the kingdom.
So to be close to the kingdom is to have right understanding of the basic rules of the religion. The religion has two rules: one relating to the worship and the other relating to the practice.
The true worship is a total (mind, heart and soul) surrender to God.
The true practice is love of the neighbour as oneself.
Being close to the kingdom implies relating to God, neighbour and to self, rightly.
Some of them said, "By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons." Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven. But he knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons. If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that (I) drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Lk 11, 15-20)
The opponents of Jesus were looking for a hidden truth behind the doings of Jesus. Externally Jesus was casting out demons and they accepted it. But they were reading or putting intentions into it. They could not read the intentions behind it.
The intention behind it is clear when Jesus said: “then the kingdom of God has come upon you”. This was the intention of Jesus and he did not have any need to explain it or give sign from heaven to prove it.
The intentions which the opponents were reading or putting into his actions were: "By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons."
Because of this Jesus had to explain saying that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand etc.
The intentions of the doer is important and not the intentions of the viewer. For the doer knows why he does something and for what reason he does it. A viewer can have his own intention and it could be totally different from that of the doer.
Whatever Jesus did was with the intention of bringing in the kingdom.