READ: Mark 10:13-31 (esp., v17-22)
- One phrase is incredibly encouraging: Jesus “loved him.” One is distressing: the man “went away sorrowful.” The reader might be surprised to see both phrases in the text. It wouldn’t be surprising to see that “Jesus loved him,” but it might surprise us to see what Jesus did because “He loved him.” Rather than leave the man believing he was okay because he was ostensibly innocent of breaking the law, Jesus showed him what was yet in his way.
- In other words, accountability was an act of love. The question might be, “Do we care enough to confront?” Why would we consider a doctor wounding us with a scalpel in order to heal a physical malady as okay, if confronting someone over an eternal matter was not? Something in most of us needs to change if our comfort is more important than our salvation.
- The discouraging statement is that wealth kept the man from submitting to Jesus. It’s sad, not because it is wealth that kept him from following, but sad because anything kept him from it. If wealth was the only issue, then most of us would at least feel free from that burden. But it’s not wealth (only); it’s whatever might interfere. That might be our family, our career, sports/recreation, status, comfort, or most anything else we might personally value.
- If you were painfully honest, what might that something else be for you?
- Describe a time when you chose to walk away from following Jesus (at least as closely as you should) because it meant giving something up.
- What do you tell others about letting things hinder their relationship with God?
PRAY: Commit to allegiance to Jesus. Pray that you can see the things that hinder your commitment. Ask for the courage to boldly follow Jesus.