Scripture Reflections:Matthew 19 16Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
The contrast between these two meeting...the children and this rich man is such a contrast. Powerless verses Powerful. I am wondering if the disciples saw this rich man on his way to you as they attempted to move along the children.
I wonder if that is the way that I am sometimes...when I attempt to control ? Do I miss the essential expressions of your grace to focus on someone who is trying to be perfect, but doesn’t really have a clue. This man had so much more than these children you just blessed. They did not even know how much they didn’t have. Yet they owned more than this man...by your word Lord Jesus. Heaven belonged to them.
17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." 18"Which ones?" the man inquired.
This man wanted another thing to check off on his check list to complete to assure himself of his eternal reward. He wanted something to do, but it isn’t that simple. Eternal life is not just a check list to be achieved. Following you Lord Jesus is not an entry on the resume or a item on a vitae...nor is it fire insurance. It is all about following...
Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother, and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'"
Lord Jesus--Interesting which commandments that you mentioned to him. You didn’t mention tithing...the focus of the commandments that you mentioned are all in relation to others. I wonder why you did that? Was it tailored to this man’s need? Did he over look the personal in his quest for money and power? Did he over look relationships with others in his quest to be perfect?
20"All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" 21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
Lord Jesus--There could have been 13 disciples? Maybe he could have been the replacement for Judas who was facing decision in just a few weeks. The call was to follow and engage in a process and be a part of the journey. To follow this rich man would have to let go of the past and the wealth that was a part of his life.
So we are back to binding and loosing yet again, Lord Jesus. It is a theme that just does not go away. What am I going to hang on to...what am I going to let go of to follow you? Those are the questions that surface and re-surface again and again. This young man was successful and yet missed the most important call of his short life. I hope that he heard your call and followed later on.
22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?" 26Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Lord Jesus--Your call is always impossible isn’t it? It is only on the power of mercy and grace that you supply that anyone rich or poor finds you. I can never be a part of the journey unless I am will to let go my luggage. Thank you for grace, and mercy experienced in prying my hands off the suitcase handle at times.
Lord Jesus--In this day there will be places where I need grace and places where I need to show mercy. Remind Lord, today of your mercy and grace, and your call to follow where ever you lead.