Devotional for March 25, 2020
As 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. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” 20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus 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.” 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:17-25 NIV)
Matthew’s gospel identifies this person as “young”. Luke’s gospel identifies this person as a “ruler”. Mark identifies him as a “man.” In any case, I think Mark is saying these actions could apply to all, regardless of our station in life. The story reveals something about this man. First, he regarded Jesus as an authority or a knowledgeable rabbi who could answer his question. Hasn’t this been our question at one time or another in our own lives?
Maybe this man had completed the list; he had done everything on the list. “He hath done what he could,” and he wanted the badge of completion. The man believed if he had done enough, that is all it would take to inherit eternal life. Little did the man understand that it is not enough to just do the list, there must also be a behavior and a lifestyle that expresses love for God in the way he related to other people. For our treasure is not here but in heaven. It is here the young man comes to understand he has not done what was necessary. It also takes a realignment of our priorities and our values and so he walks away sad.
One interesting thing in this story, something I have never noticed, is even though Jesus knew the man lacked the one thing, Mark records “Jesus looked at him and loved him”. Mark does not record what the man did after he walked off, but I wonder, if I had asked Jesus the same question, and Jesus had answered the same way to me, what would have been my response. What is your response? Thank goodness Jesus loves us. In this Lenten season, do we have any priorities we need to realign in our desire to follow Jesus more closely?
Please double click on the MP3 file of The King of Love My Shepherd Is. And pray the lyrics of this hymn as Allen Baston plays.
The King of Love My Shepherd Is
The King of love my shepherd is, whose goodness faileth never.
I nothing lack if I am his, and he is mine forever.
Where streams of living water flow, my ransomed soul he leadeth;
and where the verdant pastures grow, with food celestial feedeth.
Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed, but yet in love he sought me;
and on his shoulder gently laid, and home, rejoicing, brought me.
In death’s dark vale I fear no ill, with thee, dear Lord, beside me;
thy rod and staff my comfort still, thy cross before to guide me.
Thou spreadst a table in my sight; thy unction grace bestoweth;
and oh, what transport of delight from thy pure chalice floweth!
And so through all the length of days, thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise within thy house forever.