In the book of Mark, a rich man approaches Jesus and asks him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17). This is a common question that many people ask themselves today – how can we secure our place in heaven?
Jesus initially responds to the rich man by telling him to keep the commandments. The rich man responds by saying that he has kept all of them since his youth.
The Rich Man’s Wealth
This is where things get interesting. Mark tells us that “Jesus looked at him and loved him” (Mark 10:21).
But Jesus knew that something was holding this man back from truly following Him. In this case, it was the man’s wealth.
The Problem with Wealth
Jesus tells the rich man to sell everything he has, give it to the poor, and come follow Him (Mark 10:21). This might seem like an extreme request, but Jesus knew that this was what was necessary for the rich man to let go of his attachment to material possessions and fully commit himself to God.
Why did Jesus ask this?
It’s important to note that Jesus wasn’t against having wealth or possessions in general. However, He recognized that in this particular case, the rich man’s love for his wealth was standing in the way of his relationship with God.
- Matthew 6:24 says “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and money. “
- Wealth can distract us from what is truly important in life.
- It can lead us away from God if we allow it to become an idol.
What can we learn from this?
While we may not all be wealthy in the same way that this man was, we can still have things in our lives that distract us from God. It could be a job, a relationship, or even a hobby.
The key is to recognize these distractions and let go of them in order to fully follow Jesus.
The Reward of Following Jesus
After giving the rich man this challenging instruction, Jesus tells his disciples that it is difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of God (Mark 10:23-25). However, He also assures them that with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27).
In other words, following Jesus may require sacrifice, but the reward is worth it. Eternal life is not something that can be earned by keeping commandments or accumulating wealth. It comes through surrendering our lives to Christ and trusting in Him alone for salvation.
So what does Jesus tell the rich man to do who asks Him how to inherit eternal life? He tells him to let go of his attachment to wealth and follow Him wholeheartedly.
While this may seem like a difficult request, it is ultimately what is best for us as well. By surrendering our lives to Christ and putting our trust in Him alone, we can experience the true joy and peace that comes from knowing Him.