Passage: Mark 10:17-27
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: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall 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.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 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.”
The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
From the context of our Clayton Church value of Everyday Moments, the comparisons to daily life make this passage simultaneously easy to identify with, yet also challenging in the way Jesus makes his point: How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God.
As Jesus was travelling, one man approached him and fell before Him in worship. This man asked what he must do to receive the salvation and hope that Jesus offered. Addressing Jesus as “good” earned the first response from Jesus – a lesson in humility – that only God the Father alone could claim to be good. Jesus then reminded the man of the Mosaic laws – not to commit murder or adultery, or theft, lying, defraud and to always honour your parents. All these commandments the man claimed to have upheld.
Jesus then went to the heart of the matter – the greatest commandment was the love the Lord your God, with all your heart, mind and soul. From this love, everything else would follow, including the desire to focus wholly on God and His righteousness. Jesus challenged the man to place his treasure and heart on the things of God instead of his material wealth. At hearing this, the man went away sad, because his attachment to his earthly wealth and position was too great a hurdle for him to overcome.
Jesus then used this encounter to teach his disciples that the rich and those who have great comfort, wealth, power and position here on earth would have to forsake everything they had to gain entry to the Kingdom of God. This teaching surprised the disciples to which Jesus again reiterated his position – that to enter and receive the Kingdom of God. The richness of the man is a real stumbling block to entering the Kingdom of God particularly when he fails to recognise that his wealth and riches were actually from God in the first place.
The disciples in wonder asked who then, could be saved, to which Jesus explained that in order to enter the Kingdom of God, we along, by our own effort and understanding cannot, but with God all things would be possible.
What I Discovered
- Being rich and wealthy is not necessarily a blessing from God, particularly if it distracts you from the true blessing of God and being able to enter the Kingdom.
- This passage reinforces to me that God alone saves us and transforms our hearts.
- All the commandments are important and inter-related. To love God with our hearts, minds and souls will ensure that we continually are placing Him on the throne of our lives, and ensuring that God receives all glory and honour.
Obedience Step:”I Will”
I will love the Lord God with all my heart, mind and strength. I will seek Him first and give Him the honour and glory.