Exodus 7:25-8:19; Psalms 140, 142;
2 Corinthians 3:7-18; Mark 10:17-31
A young man ran up to Jesus, knelt before him, and asked him a question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
There is a lot to admire about this young man. He was economically successful – as we learn he had great possessions. He recognized people of importance and was evidently looking to Jesus to give him direction. He was running to Jesus, which indicated he was passionate or at least moved to action by his beliefs. Most significantly, he was willing to ask important questions. Unfortunately, the young man could handle the answer when Jesus told him to sell all he had, give the money to the poor, then come and follow him.
I imagine that the disciples observed this encounter with a mixture of emotions. Perhaps after the young man left, they expected to move on and continue with their journey to Jerusalem. Jesus, however, had other plans. He moved the disciples from observers to participants by engaging them on the very issue with which the young man struggled. He began to talk about how difficult it will be for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. This discussion resonated with the disciples, not necessarily because they were rich, but because they had already sacrificed all that they had. As Peter confessed to Jesus, “We have left all and have followed you.”
As I read these verses, I was left with several questions.
- Was it just because he had great possessions that the young man turned and left Jesus?
- What was it about the disciples that made them able to leave all they had to follow Jesus?
- Am I willing to take the important questions to Jesus?
- What am I willing to sacrifice to follow Jesus?
This short story portrays two different responses to the questions of how we handle our resources and what we are willing to sacrifice to follow Jesus. We must all answer these questions for ourselves, but how we answer them will affect every aspect of our life and our walk of faith.