Daily Devotional

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Rich Man

As [Jesus] was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’     Mark 10:17

The exchange between Jesus and the rich man is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Jesus told the man to obey the commandments of God. The man said he had done that since his youth. Then the text reads, “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.’” The story ends with the man leaving disappointed because he had a lot of stuff he didn’t want to part with.

What we often miss in this story is that Jesus’ answer to the request for eternal life was for the man to obey the commandments. If the man had not pressed Jesus for more, Jesus would not have suggested he sell all his possessions. We can only assume that living a good and faithful life still didn’t seem like enough for the man. He wanted an even more intimate and committed relationship with God. That kind of relationship, according to Jesus, requires even greater sacrifice. We don’t have to give everything away to be inheritors of eternity, but if we long for a closer walk with Jesus, we might have to do just that.

Do you long for a deeper relationship with God?

Lord, all I need to do in order to lead a faithful life is obey your rules. But sometimes being a person who simply does the right thing is not enough. There are times when I long for something more—a deeper connection, a more passionate relationship, and a more intimate conversation with you. That might cost me more than I am willing to pay . . . but I know it would be worth it. Don’t allow me to leave your presence disappointed. Please. In your name, I pray. AMEN.