Today in Mark we look at Mark 17-31:
17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’” 20 He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”
28 Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
This is another one of those passages that have a lot going on it in it. Let’s break down what’s happening
First, we see the rich young man. Here’s the take away from him. He was arrogant and thought he had it all together. He was coming to Jesus for affirmation more than for instruction. He thought he had all the answers already.
How do we know this? When Jesus tells him the commandments, he says, I’ve done all this. We also see this in Jesus initial greeting to him, when the man calls Jesus good, Jesus reframes it, saying no one is good but God. And then youth man basically says – nope, I’m good too! This young man things He has it all together and everything is great. And he’s missing the point.
Because next we see Jesus’ response. He loved him. He wasn’t mad at him. Jesus wasn’t trying to punish him. He was trying to set him free. His “stuff” had trapped him and made him a prisoner. Jesus was trying to set him free for real life, because He loved him. But Jesus’ words weren’t what the man wanted to hear. Or what the disciples. wanted to hear.
See because in that culture, wealth = blessing. So, if this rich man lacked what was needed to get into heaven, then who could get in? If he couldn’t make it, then what chance did a regular person have. We see Peter ask this, Lord, what about us? We’ve left everything to follow you.
And Jesus says, and you’ve found true life. True life is in following God. Not in following the world or following power or privilege or anything like. True life is in following Jesus. Even if it costs, it gives you life.
Because He is life. And if we “lose” something to follow, we actually gain. Because we gain life.
Today, may we seek after true life. May we seek after Jesus.
Friday we’ll look at Mark 10:32-44.
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