Monday 28 February 2011

Bible Book:

"Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, 'You lack one thing; go, sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.'" (v. 21)

Mark 10:17-27 Monday 28 February 2011


This is a very vivid story, sometimes titled 'The Rich YoungRuler'. It is also a very topical story in these times when the gapbetween rich and poor is widening and the subject of banker'sbonuses is so much in the news. In a recent session of the Treasury Select Committee in Parliament, BobDiamond, the chief executive officer of Barclay's Bank was asked aquestion lifted straight from this passage, "Why is it easier for acamel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man toenter the Kingdom of Heaven?" (verse 25) His reply, "I'm stillstuck on that one."

This young man in our story flung himself at Jesus' feet, calledJesus "Good Teacher" (verse 17) and sincerely wanted Jesus toanswer his question, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" AndJesus was not critical of him, for we read that he loved him (verse21).

Jesus was at pains to get this young man to stop and think, tocount the cost of discipleship and of what he was saying. Theproblem for the young man was not that he was wealthy but that hiswealth was a stumbling block to his full discipleship. And thedisciples themselves did not understand what Jesus was sayingbecause they believed, as they read in the Scriptures, that wealthwas a sign of God's favour (eg Deuteronomy 8:18; Psalm25:12-13). This explains their comment in verse 26, "they weregreatly astounded (at what Jesus had said to the young man) andsaid to one another, 'Then who can be saved?'"

To Ponder

When you think of our life of Christiandiscipleship, which 'costs' do we you find most difficult?

Can bankers who receive bonuses of millions ofpounds "enter the kingdom of heaven" (verse 25)? Why?

The disciples were astonished at what Jesus saidto the young man. What parts of Jesus' teaching astound you?

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