Amos 5:6-7, 10-15, Hebrews 4:12-16, Mark 10:17-31
(Click above for the complete reading)
“Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”
(Click the title above for the sermon)
Most of the time what you hear when you get into a conversation about religious faith is something along the lines of, well, if you are a good person, if you try to help others and be honest and pay your taxes and don‘t steal or cheat or commit murder, that‘s really what it‘s all about, right? Even life long Lutherans have a tendency to embrace this kind of works-righteousness theology because it just seems to fit with the way the world works.
In our gospel reading this week, a man runs up to Jesus with a question, what must I do to inherit eternal life? At the end of the end of his conversation with Jesus, this man walks away grieving. I guess he did not get the good news he was hoping to hear.
We do not know much more about this guy who is often referred to as the rich young ruler. Did he end up becoming a follower of Jesus? Was he able to free himself from the hold his own wealth had on his life?
One thing we do know, Jesus loved him. Mark went out of his way to let us know that Jesus looked at this rich young ruler, and loved him. The answer to this man’s burning question was staring him right in the face… and loving him.
You should click on the sermon link above and hear the whole story!
Questions to Ponder or Discuss
1. How would you answer this man’s question?
2. What does the concept of eternal life mean to you?
3. If you could ask Jesus one question, what would it be?
Jesus told the rich young ruler that he was welcome to be one of His followers. However, there was something holding the man back. This week, spend some time thinking about what might be holding you back and take at least one small step toward Jesus. And remember, even before you get started, Jesus looks at you and loves you.