There is a story in the bible about a rich, young man. His perception of himself fascinates me. This is how this story went.
Mark 10 vs. 17-18 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?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good – except God alone.”
Notice how Jesus answers this. He already knows what is in this man’s heart, that’s why he says that no one is good except God alone.
Mark 10 vs. 19-20 “You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.” “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
Wow. This man is basically saying that he’s never sinned; that he’s led a perfect life. He was wrong of course, but I don’t think he was lying. I think he actually believed he was telling the truth. What do you think was Jesus response to this man? Here it is.
Mark 10 vs. 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him.
I love this verse because it gives me hope. Jesus sees our foolishness and sinfulness and still loves us anyways. Jesus did not get frustrated at his misguided self-righteousness. He loved him. He wanted to help him to see the truth, just like he did with Saul who later became Paul. Saul wrongly thought he was doing God’s will by persecuting and putting Christians to death. He thought that Jesus was a fake, a phony. God could have given up on Saul; instead he set him straight. He knocked Saul to the ground, blinded him (to get his attention) and set him on the right path. Saul thought he was doing God’s will, but he wasn’t. When God showed him the error of his ways, Saul became a new man, so God gave him a new name; Paul. (Acts 9 vs. 1-19)
Back to the rich man.
Mark 10 vs. 21-23 “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.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
This is sad. Many others gave up everything to follow Jesus. This man, because he had so much wealth, did not want to give it up! Hopefully he changed his mind later, because the riches of heaven and God’s love are so much more than anything we could have in this life!
If you’re discouraged right now; read on because there’s hope for the rich and poor alike.
Mark 10 vs. 24-27 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 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.” The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible. But not with God; all things are possible with God.”
Boom! There it is. ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD.
God loves the rich. He loves the poor. He loves us enough to take the time to discipline us, teach us and set us straight. Whatever you’re going through, don’t give up because all things are possible with God. Believe, believe, believe!
“Then come, follow me.”