Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rich Young Man

I like stories.
Mark's story in the Jesus Chronicles has an interesting little account called the Rich Young Man.

The Rich Young Man
 17As 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?" 18"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. 19You 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.'[d]"
 20"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."
 21Jesus 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."
 22At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
 23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"
 24The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is[e] to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
 26The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?"
 27Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."
I can imagine this guy, he had everything. But he's looking ahead and not sure what's going to happen, so he runs to ask the Rabbi.
"What do I need to do to live forever?"

Jesus gives him the six commandments that have to do with dealing with humans.

"I've kept them."

It says Jesus looked at him and loved him. and I really like that it says that about Jesus. It's like Jesus could see that he was sincere...he really was searching. Jesus seems to love Real People.

One more thing then, Jesus says, Go get rid of what ties you down; give it to those who need it. Come, and be my disciple.

This is asking too much of the guy. He went away sad.

That part makes me so mad! The guy had the chance to follow Jesus! to become part of that great adventure! Following Jesus is entering into eternal life! 

and the guy walks away.

He's probably thinking, "I don't want to live with nothing. I don't like being really uncomfortable."

-It would have been uncomfortable.-
- Sometimes the disciples didn't know where their next meal was coming from, or where they would sleep.
- It would have lead to watching his Master on a Cross, and being persecuted...
- and likely his own death far down the track.

But there would have been the amazement of being one of Jesus's disciples...of the Resurrection....of finding the Eternal Life he'd been looking for.

I'm thinking maybe I walk away from incredible opportunities like this sometimes...because I value my comfort. Maybe I'm missing out, too.

But I can change. After all, as Jesus goes on to say: 

Nothing is Impossible With God

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