Saturday, October 10, 2015

Pentecost 21 - Proper 23

Proper 23
11 October 2015
Mark 10:17-22

Enlighten our minds, we pray, O God, by the Spirit who proceeds from You that , as Your Son has promised, we may be led into all truth; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One god, now and forever.

Many people identify with this man. He could not wait. To taste real life. He ran to Jesus. Kneeling.  He begged Jesus to give him life. He wanted “eternal life”. He had life. In the sense of its existence. But he wanted something more.  He wanted a life of quality.

Today, people are more interested in life lived today. Rather than life lived in eternity. The tragedy? The man turned down the opportunity to get real life. The price was simply too high.

How do you then get real life?

By earning it? This life is not a reward. Compensation given for obeying the commands. This man sensed. That keeping the commandments wasn’t enough. For a spiritually satisfying life. Something was missing. He was right. Jesus told him. “One thing is lacking. Go. Sell everything. (Literally! Not figuratively!)  And follow Me.”

That made the man sad. He walked away sullen. Just as our losses during this recession might saddened and anger us. When we experience painful loss. We look for deliverance. For something, more than a spiritualized religious lesson plan. We need a flesh and blood deliverer. Who is the one who can satisfy? It is Christ.  

You know how the game is played. You simply follow the rules. This man was an expert at following the rules…Children were entering the kingdom. Certainly, there was something he could do to prove his worthiness. He felt justified. By his life and conduct. But he was only fooling himself. For there is only one person who has lived a perfect life. This man was speaking to that man. That man is Jesus Christ.

So, you can’t earn it. In that case, then do the next best thing. By buying it? This man had the wealth to buy it. – If it could be bought. He was rich. A man of many resources. If he had wanted it. He got it. And In this world. Those who “have it” have it good!

Or, so they think. For some. The mark of success is never having to ask how much does it cost. But that life which Jesus was speaking is beyond price. 

This man called Jesus a “good teacher.” Hoping Jesus would teach him how to obtain life. Jesus refused to be his guru. He was more than a life coach.  Why do you call me good?” “No one is good but God alone.” (v.19)  This man calls Jesus “good.” Only God is good. Do you accept the idea, the image, the impression, the intention…that Jesus is God?

Only God is good. The way to God. Is not to discover His secret for a good life, in order to earn God’s favor. Rather it is to come in faith to Christ, who alone can bestow eternal life.

Eternal life is “inherited” as a gift. From the One to whom we are fully committed. Jesus did not want anything standing in the way of Him.

Instead of following Jesus. This man chooses to stay with his money and his wealth. He walked away sad and bitter for he was a wealthy man. It was his money. Which he had given first priority in his life.

So what about you? What is your destiny? What is God’s desire of you? His desire is to give your life, liberty and peace. Freedom, security, happiness and joy. Regardless of cost or price.

He gives you all these things freely – without any cost without any price. It was all bought and paid for by His on Son’s blood.

Sadly, by the world’s standards, you are valued by the bottom line. By your salary, position, your home, your education, your status in the community, your appreciation for culture. 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. We have nothing without Jesus Christ. To know Him is to know all. To have Him is to have all.

All Jesus asks of you is your life. He asks that you simply follow Him and no one else. By following Jesus, you gain everything. It’s as simple as that.

With this one thing, a life with Christ you have everything. Having everything but that one thing, Jesus makes all the difference in the world. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world but to lose his own soul? Today trust Jesus. Follow Him! Obey Him! He is the one thing, which makes everything else secondary. 
Words –828
Passive Sentences –2%
Readability –85.8

Reading Level -3.0

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