The Cross We Must Bear…

The Cross We Must Bear…

“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. 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.” 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.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.”Mark 10:17-22

In my life I have often approached God in the same posture, as this man, determined on one side of the spectrum to ask God questions concerning my life, but on the other end never really preparing myself for his answer. We see that the man has inserted the word “good” in his salutation to Jesus so, perhaps he was wrestling with what makes one “good vs. bad?” and therefore revealing ,upfront, his inner conflict with being good enough to have eternal life. Jesus already knew this man followed the commandments from childhood, and yet I marvel as he goes on to list them ,one by one, as if He wanted to make a point to confirm ,with the man, what he already knew. How many of us run to God asking questions, and all we hear, in our desperation, is God confirming what we already know? Most times we nonchalantly rush past the agent, God has used to send his message through, as we say the infamous words, “I know that already! ” we numb our ears and hearts to the remainder of the message ,all the while, convinced that we are only being told what we have heard before. I can only imagine the look on the man’s face when Jesus informs him of the one thing he lacks, and the one thing he didn’t yet think to do which was depart from his money. Many of us have no problem with giving away what we want to give away, but what do we do when it is something we don’t desire to part with? What do we do when we have worked so hard to get to where we are at in life only to be asked, by God himself, to sell it or give it all to the poor? I think I just heard a couple hearts hit the floor, but I must write that you are not alone, and Jesus knows our struggle.

Thank God that he is merciful, kind, and understands what we wrestle with when asked to give up anything- let alone all we have- and so, to anyone who might think that God is careless with our feelings, our heartache, and our questions I would like to bring our attention to what the text reveals Jesus did before he answered the man. The text reveals that, “Jesus looked at him and loved him.” Church, Christ is looking on us and loving us, and we need to slow down in order to take in his love because, most of the time it is that love and encouragement we will need to actually embrace the answer. Jesus knew that this man wanted to know how to obtain eternal life, but Jesus also knew that he would struggle tremendously with the answer so, Jesus loved on him first because what this man needed to do was remove the idol and the road blocks that he had placed between himself and God. Jesus new this type of change would need to happen on a heart level for the greatest miracle Jesus has ever done, in my opinion, is change the heart of man.

Have you ever received an answer from God only to be left regretting that you asked him at all? Like this man we have all spent countless hours investing in things that we already know to do, but it might be time to confront what’s confronting you.What are we scared to let go of or convinced we can’t live without? What are we holding onto that Jesus might be asking us to give away or sell in order to have eternal life? I suspect that Jesus’ answer to the man was to get him to think, and realize that you can’t check items off on a list to achieve eternal life for it is by grace we have been saved through faith and this is not of ourselves, but a gift from God. Not by works so no man can boast. So, I pray that if you must walk away  saddened by what Jesus asks of you don’t live a life of quiet desperation. Find the strength through the Holy Spirit to overcome, and rest assured ,when troubled, that Jesus is looking at you…and still loving you no matter what.

 

D. C. Lassiter About D. C. Lassiter

D. C. Lassiter is host of the Dovetales radio show and author of Beyond the Face of the Movies, a non-fiction, Christian Living book. You can find D.C. Lassiter on her online blog and on Facebook page.

Comments

  1. Thank you D.C. For this reminder to kneel and listen instead of kneel and run. God knows what is good for me and too many times I’m not listening because I’m thinking of my selfishness instead of his glory.

    Hope you have a blessed Easter.

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  2. Hey Penny! Happy Easter to you and your family as well. I have found it so hard to listen to God when I just want to hear what I want him to say. I had to learn the hard way, but I love him all the more ,now, that I am understanding Him much better. Blessed is the man who the Lord corrects so don’t despise the discipline of the Almighty is a scripture I say to myself constantly. God Bless you.

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