Today's Reading: Matthew 19, Mark 10
A rich man--perhaps a very good student who pleased his parents, who got the job, who worked hard, who saved his money, who invested well, who has position, who lacks nothing, save the guarantee of kingdom citizenship--comes to Jesus and asks the question of the day.
What must I do to inherit eternal life?
I've loved my parents and provided for them. I've been faithful to my wife. I am trustworthy and fair. I am not a violent man. I am generous and kind to my colleagues.
I have been a good boy.
I am now a good man.
What must I do to get eternal life?
Jesus' eyes become focused, zooming vision into the man's heart, checking every cell of intention for health and wholeness. He sees a growing cancer of greed, pride, idolatry and love of mammon.
"Sell everything you have, give it to the poor; and then come, and follow me."
Too much, Lord; you ask too much.
The man walks away.
Does this mean all who follow Jesus must own nothing?
Or does this mean each of us has something sitting upon the throne of our hearts where Christ alone must reign?
For this man, to give up his riches was his greatest challenge. For this man, to share with the poor around him was his deepest need.
What is my greatest challenge? What holds me back from completely embracing the life God has set forth for me for all eternity?
What am I tempted to hoard? Is it money? Is it pride? Is it control? Is it unforgiveness?
What would Jesus have me give up? Unload? Drop? So that I can follow him? Anywhere... Anytime...
What is it that keeps me continually walking away from Jesus?
That is the heart of the matter.