Over the next few weeks in our Rooted in Christ Study, we’ll be looking at some of the favorite passages from our staff at St. Matthew’s UMC. These are some of the parts of the Bible to mean to most to our staff.
Today’s reading is Mark 10: 17-31
We see today the text of the rich young man walking sadly away. He goes up to Jesus and askes what he has to do to go to heaven. Jesus tells him to follow various teachings of the law and the young man says that he has done this since his youth. Then notice what the text says, Jesus looked at him and Jesus loved him. Jesus then tells him to sell everything he has and follow Jesus. The man is very sad and walks away.
I am struck that Jesus looked at the man and the text says that Jesus loved him. Jesus wasn’t asking him to sell his possessions to “get at him” or to punish him, in fact, it was quite the opposite. Jesus wanted this man to be freed from is enslavement to his possessions. These earthly things looked as though they would be life-giving, but instead, they trapped the man in a cage. His great wealth was not freeing, it was imprisoning. Jesus tells him to sell it and follow to gain freedom.
This confused the others because they linked wealth with blessing. So if this wealthy man can’t get in, what hope do they have. Jesus says that it is not about man’s will, but God’s. And with God, all things are possible. Trust. God will make a way.
Today, what is the thing that we believe is our life, but in truth isn’t? Jesus calls us to freedom, even freedom from “that.”
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