Mark 10:21 - And Jesus, looking at him, loved him ...
What a painful meeting that must have been! The rich young man is terribly eager to meet Jesus. He runs up to Jesus and asks, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus answers him, "You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'" And the young man replies, "Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth" (Mark 10:17-20).
At this point Mark tells us, "And Jesus, looking at him, loved him ..." Here was a young man who was so earnest about following God that he had dedicated his life to keeping the commandments. He had come running to Jesus to ask what else he had to do. He even knelt in the street before Jesus to get His guidance. Surely, this man will do what Jesus says!
And Jesus says it. "Go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." It's as if Jesus is saying, "Come, be My thirteenth disciple! Come, spend your days and nights with Me. Hear God's Word from My lips. Give your life to spreading the Gospel." Such an invitation! Who wouldn't jump at it?
Well, this young man, actually. His face falls and he turns to go away, saddened. His money and possessions matter more to him than Jesus. And now he realizes that, with all his Commandment-keeping, he has forgotten the first and greatest Commandment: the one that says, "I am the Lord your God ... You shall have no other gods before Me" (Exodus 20:2a, 3). No other gods -- not money, not family, not status, not anything. God comes first.
How grieved Jesus must have been! For He loved this young man. He wanted the man with Him as a disciple. It must have hurt to watch him walk away.
But not everyone walked away. Peter and the other disciples were right there at Jesus' elbow, anxiously asking about the situation. What went wrong? they were wondering. Who could be saved, if not a rich man? And what about themselves? Where did they stand with God? And Jesus, faithful as ever, got on with the job of teaching the ones who remained with Him -- the ones He also loved.
Jesus did that because that is who He is: our Savior, our Lord, the One who has chosen to love us, to live and to die and to rise for us. We can walk away. We can stay, with the Holy Spirit enabling us. But Jesus will never walk away. His choice is already made. And His choice is to love and call out to you, the one He wants.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to walk with You always. In Your Name I pray. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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