Monday, February 26, 2007

Mark 10:17-22

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'"

"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."

Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
I have read and probably taught Mark 10:17-22 many times, but somehow have over looked one big truth in this passage of scripture. As you have read above, the young man comes to Jesus and addresses him as "Good teacher." This is evidence that he knew that Jesus was the Messiah and that if he was to find eternal life he would need to seek out Jesus. The young man had an understanding of who Jesus was, but did not have a relationship with Christ. We learn that the young man has kept all the tenats of the Jewish faith, the 10 commandments, but he is still lacking something. The young man is chasing after earthly things, not heavenly things. Jesus tells him, "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." Jesus does not want the man or you and I to sell everything we own, but he wants us to make him our number one priority (Matthew 22:37; for more). The man sought after riches and wealth and did not have a place for a relationship with Christ. We often chase after many things in our lives instead of God; money, relationships, poplarity, etc. God wants us to chase after Him in such a way that we will not need to seek after these other things, but solely relie on Him. Another truth I grasped from the lesson last night was its not about rules, but the relationship. Jesus asks Him about the commandments, and you can imagine the young man is completing a checklist in his mind, "Thou shall not steal, Check! Thou shall not covet, Check!" Often times, sadly even churches, make it so hard to be a follower of Christ and yet, Jesus simply wants us to wholeheartedly chase after him, first and foremost (again, see Matthew 22:37). It was all about following the rules for this man and not accepting God's grace through His son Jesus. This is something I strive to put into practice, but never had a heard it so clearly in Jesus' explaination to this young man. We can jump through all the rules and reglation hoops, but without Jesus in our lives, ultimately we have gained nothing, but earthly tresure. That is why Jesus last statement to the man is, "follow me." Are you following Christ? Or are you too busy trying to be a good person and work your way to eternal life? Christ calls us to a relationship with His father in heaven. I hope and pray that you will consider these words and apply them in your own lives. God Bless.

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