One Thing

337/365: The Big MoneyImage by DavidDMuir via Flickr

Then, looking at him, Jesus loved him..
Mark 10:21


It's a familiar story. A rich young ruler is faced with a huge challenge. Having asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, he is stunned to hear that he must go away and sell all his possessions. Of course, Jesus is not telling us all to do such a thing, but He is telling us to do something much harder. "You lack one thing", Jesus says. Here is a man being asked to let go of an idol. Look at his reaction; "he went away grieving", v.22. Has Jesus ever asked you to give up something that made you really struggle? I know He has of me. I wonder what that thing is for you? Whatever it is, it will keep us from Him, from loving Him with all our hearts, from joy in our walk, and victory in our spirits.

But this story is also full of hope. It is shot through with Jesus love and compassion. Notice that Jesus comes and meets him at his own level, even in the quoting of the commandments he gives the man the opportunity to gain ground. And then perhaps the most extraordinary verse; "then, looking at him, Jesus loved him", v.21. For a look or expression to be noted and recorded, it must have had a huge impact, not only on the ruler, but also on those who observed it.

Let's take comfort from the fact that Jesus knows what we struggle to let go of. He knows how we've failed. He knows what we need in order to know His life in all its fullness. The young man went away grieving but there was hope for him for "Godly sorrow produces repentance", 2 Cor.7:10. May we receive the grace we need today to make the changes that He is asking of us.

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Comments

Angie said…
I don't think I skipped over that verse of Mark 10:21, but you have brought it to my attention in such a poignant way.

I continue to get this teaching of surrender. Message received.
Kim S in SC said…
Wow! I too read this verse with new eyes Mike. Thanks for the gentle nudge towards that realization : "Jesus loved him" I am praying lately that Christ would empty me of anything other than HIM! Your post was great! Thanks!
Suz said…
words of truth well-spoken. thanks, mike.
ChrisJ said…
Good words, Mike. Who would love us if Jesus didn't?

I have started to add "Not my Wisdom" Words for Wednesday to my Chris's Comments blog. (You can link to it from my sidebar on Flamblog.) I gave this blog up for a while because I wondered if I were being too outspoken. Now I'm taking one main point from my weekly Ladies Bible Study in Hebrews and posting that. I think I will be able to continue.
Steve said…
Lovely thought again. Most inspiring.....
Steve said…
I'm not sure if this rich young man did repent. The point of the story is how hard it can be to give up what keeps us from Christ. I know there are things which I find hard to give up. Besides Christ pointed out how hard it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God...and it's a sobering thought that most of us in the Western world are rich by Biblical standards...
Wanda said…
What a positive twist on a story most of us feel so bad at the ending.... Maybe...it's not the end of the story.

Thanks Mike, you are a creative thinker!!
deena said…
Good verse and comentary.I think it applies to most of us.Giving out money to God's work is like investing in heaven.The scripture -exposes the barrier that could keep us out of the Kingdom.The love of money to this man was obviously more important than the first commandment.I thinkk we all have barriers from turning our life over to Christ.
Mike said…
Good point Steve. I was thinking of my own life and how many times it takes the Lord to get me to repent of something. Maybe this was the start of a wonderful journey of realisation for this man.
Pietro said…
"Then, looking at him, Jesus loved him": there are no words to comment this sublime phrase.