Follow Instructions

Mark 10:17-27 (NIV)

17 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?”

18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”

20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

21 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.”

22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it isto enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”

27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Ever bought one of those furniture sets with all of the instructions?  You simply follow all the steps until you’ve completed it.  You try to match instructions with the images and you’re done.  This passage is a great illustration for all generations to understand what must be done to inherit eternal life.  It is the question that many people are secretly thinking about, but unsure of how to ask or afraid to ask.  If they ask, they may find out what needs to be done and they may not like what they hear. I give credit to this rich young man.  He was doing his best to follow the commands of God and had been doing a great job so far.  Following the law was easy for this man.  He didn’t commit adultery, he didn’t murder, didn’t steal, did not give false testimony and even honored his parents.  He had the courage to ask for instructions on how to inherit eternal life.

Jesus taught something greater than the Law of Moses.  Jesus taught that those who followed him must do so with their heart.  Jesus knew the one area that the young man was lacking…he lacked generosity and this character trait comes from the heart.  He didn’t have the heart to give all he had to the poor.  Although it could be easier to follow certain laws, now it would seem much more difficult to enter the king of God as Jesus challenges all of us on our attitudes and our hearts.  The good news in verse 27 is that with God, all things are possible with God.  That is why there is the Holy Spirit to guide us and the Word of God, the Bible, to instruct us.  Lastly, we have other people in our lives to help us along on this spiritual journey.

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