Read: Mark 10:1-52
Centering Verse: 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.” (Mark 10:21)
- How do Jesus’s words influence your understanding of the sacredness of marriage?
- How do you enter the Kingdom of God?
- What have you received from your relationship with Jesus?
- How is God calling you to serve others?
Jesus encounters two people in this passage who give very different responses to him. The first is the man with many possessions who asked Jesus about inheriting eternal life. He had kept all of the commandments, or at least he said he had. But Jesus asked him to go beyond that and give away his possessions. This is not necessarily a commentary on the evil of possessions, though Jesus does make it clear that it is difficult for the rich to enter the Kingdom. This is probably true because the love of possessions is a struggle for those who have much – and even for those who don’t necessarily have a lot! The difficulty for this man is that he treated eternal life as a commodity – something that could be possessed like a piece of gold or a new car. He didn’t understand that eternal life is received freely as a gift from God – a gift of a relationship defined by trust and love. Jesus loved this man, but the man could not return that holy love. His love was defined by stuff, not relationships. The second man Jesus encounters is a beggar. He doesn’t even have a name for himself. Bartimaeus means son of Timaeus. So the passage is basically saying that he is know as Son of Timaeus, the son of Timaeus. He has no real identity for himself, showing that he was probably not valued by the world or even his own family. He is as poor as the other man was wealthy. Yet, he understands the value of following Jesus. This is what he does after Jesus heals him. Bartimaeus follows Jesus on the way to Jerusalem, ready to return the holy love Jesus has shown to him.
LORD God, who has called us into a relationship of holy and healing love, draw us closer to you. May we never value anything more so than we value you. Amen.