The Loving Call of Christ
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Mark 10:21
How in the world is Jesus loving the rich young man in this story? This young man (let’s call him Rich) comes to Jesus in reverence desiring to understand what is needed to inherit eternal life. Rich believes he has kept the commands Jesus asked of him up to this point, and yet Rich knows that something is still required of him to inherit eternal life (See Mark 10:19-20).
“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 he [Rich] said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.”” Mark 10:19-20
Jesus’ loving response is that Rich should sell and give away all his possessions and follow Christ.
How in the world is Jesus loving Rich with the call to sell all and follow (Mark 10:21)?
One may read this passage and assume that Jesus is not really loving Rich at all. In fact, we may feel like Rich is being given an impossible task in order to keep him from following Christ. Rich loved his riches and was exposed by the weight of Christ’s call. We rather think, “I hope Jesus doesn’t call me to do the same.”
Dear friend, anyone who has heard the loving call of Christ and responded in faith and obedience is doing the same! They are surrendering their desires for the sake of gaining Christ. Jesus is standing at the door knocking, awaiting those who, on hearing the call, will cast aside their idols, and turn to the Savior for life.
The call from Christ to lay aside our idols and follow Him is ALWAYS a call of love. Jesus knew what was best for Rich and certainly knows what is best for you and me.
Think of it negatively. Rich comes to Jesus. Jesus identifies the sin keeping Rich from eternal life, but then goes on to tell Rich that he is fine and that Rich should continue as he is (in love with his riches). It would certainly be a comfortable response but not loving at all!
Oh may our hearts be transformed to love what Jesus loves and hate what he hates. May Christ’s call to follow after him be met with joy and not sorrow like Rich.
“Disheartened by the saying, he [Rich] went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Mark 10:22