In Mark chapter 10 we have a contrast between the faith of little children and the treasures of a good man with great possessions. Despite His disciples trying to turn the children away, Jesus welcomed them saying, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” It was the accepting faith of the children that Jesus praised, and with this “He took them in His arms and began blessing them….”
In contrast to the children was that man of means who asked Jesus what “he must do” to inherit eternal life. Recognizing his performance base, Jesus replied telling him that he knew the commandments (the Ten and others). To this the man assured Jesus that he had kept all of them from his youth. We read in Mark 10:21, “Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”” This man was devout in his practice, but was he willing to give it to follow after Jesus? We read in the next verse that the man was saddened and that he went away not willing to sell all of his property.
These two examples illustrate the difference between grace and works. Works are commendable, but they don’t save anybody. It’s not that we have to be simple or even than we have to be paupers. Rather, it is the attitudes of the heart that moved them to action that are emphasized here. The children were willing to come to Jesus and climb into His open arms. The man couldn’t get past what he might lose of what he had gained to be blessed with something even greater.
Posted in Sherman County eNews Spiritual Matters November 16, 2018