Wednesday August 5, 2020
Today’s Scripture: Mark 10:17-22
17 As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. 19 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’ ”
20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”
21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
I wonder if anyone else is unnerved by this passage in Mark? Is it just me who gets a little twinge in the stomach thinking “I have possessions! Do I have to sell them all to have eternal life?”
Of course, this is one of the times in scripture when we must look for the meaning behind the meaning. What is Jesus really saying here?
I think a clue comes in the last phrase of the last verse: “he had many possessions.” In other words, what he owned was getting in the way of his relationship with Jesus. To follow Jesus, he needed to give up those possessions – something he was unwilling to do.
If we were the person in this story coming to Jesus to find out about eternal life and what it takes to follow him – what would be the thing we would be asked to give up? What is the thing in your life that stands in the way of you being a disciple?
It may be possessions – like this young man. But it may well be something else. Maybe pride, maybe a sin habit, maybe a relationship. Jesus does not ask all of us to give up all of our possessions. And yet he does say that to follow him we need to pick up our cross. Being a disciple is not a line one a resume or a weekend hobby. It takes surrendering all of who we are to all of Jesus. It’s a lifelong process. But so worth it.
Show us this day what it is we need to give up in order to follow you -even if it’s something hard for us to do. Help us to have the courage and the strength to be your disciples – even when it might be hard.