Not too long ago, I remember talking about the “rich young ruler” who had a conversation with Jesus where he was told to sell everything and then follow Jesus, but he left sad because he was so rich. That event set the stage for Jesus saying that it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven and then follow that up with the statement that all things are possible with God.
I like what Jesus has to say but still feel bad for the guy who has done everything but can’t get close to Jesus because he’s still holding on to some of his “stuff.” I’ve even thought that it was a little mean of Jesus to call the dude out like that (even though I understand why).
My opinion changed when I read a few words I’d never noticed before in Mark 10. Just a little description in verse 21. “Jesus looked at him and loved him…” He wasn’t calling the guy out, he was loving him?
How often have I thought that God was just calling me out, making me look stupid or trying to teach me another lesson (oh goody) and thinking he had it in for me, yet, the whole time he only loved me? How many other people think that when Jesus (or Christians for that matter) take the time to point out the “one thing you lack” it’s just them being judgemental or almost showing off how perfect they are? I’d never considered that love was involved, mostly because when it happens to me I feel so, well, unloved. I’m sad, like the guy in the story. He left sad because he was rich, but the real reason he left is he didn’t want to change. Too often, neither do I.