People find Jesus’ life and teaching compelling—compelling enough to cause them to leave their fishing nets at the drop of a hat (or net!), to inspire men and women to ask deep questions about faith and life. Jesus’ life and teaching seems to capture people’s imaginations. This rabbi and teacher inspires seekers to come from near and far to find out more.
The man in today’s Gospel is one of those seekers. He doesn’t just look for Jesus—he runs, kneels, and brings heartfelt, probing questions to the traveling rabbi: “Good Teacher, what must I do to obtain eternal life?” (ceb). While the man asks in earnest, he also appears conflicted. Mark indicates that Jesus is aware the man’s priorities are out of whack. He has many possessions, which obviously come first. How does Jesus put it? Oh, yes, “You are lacking one thing.”
The story is familiar; we know how it ends. But notice what happens before the man hears Jesus’ charge to “go,” “sell,” and “give.” Before the charge and before the man leaves saddened and dismayed, Jesus sees the man’s earnest desire. He “looked at him carefully and loved him.” Often I have rushed past this verse to focus on the man’s greed, materialism, or inability to take a risk and surrender all. Today, I invite you to pause at this verse with me and ponder the beauty of a Savior who sees our shortcomings, our hang-ups, and our spiritual reluctance. We all have such things in our hearts at one time or another. Yet amazingly enough, Jesus knows us, sees us, and loves us. It is compelling. It is enough to make us want to run, kneel, seek, and, hopefully, with God’s help, leave all and follow.

Jesus, I desire to experience the abundant life you taught and preached about. Give me courage to run, kneel, seek, and follow you. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Mark 10:17-31

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Lectionary Week
October 8–14, 2018
Scripture Overview

Faithful people still have questions for God. Job wishes he could sit down with God and plead his case because he wants God to justify what has happened to him. The psalmist, traditionally identified as David, also feels abandoned by God and wonders why God is not coming to his aid. God can handle our questions. Job wanted an advocate, and Hebrews says that Jesus now fills that role for us. He is our great high priest and understands our sufferings, so we may boldly approach him for help. In Mark, Jesus deals with the challenge of money. It is a powerful force and can come between God and us if we cling to our resources instead of holding them loosely with thanksgiving for God’s provision.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Job 23:1-9, 16-17. When have you, like Eliphaz, attributed your own suffering or that of others to wickedness on your part or on theirs? How often do you find yourself blaming others for the situations in which they find themselves?
• Read Psalm 22:1-15. How could your prayer life be more honest and transparent? What feelings do you hold back?
• Read Hebrews 4:12-16. When God shines the spotlight on your soul, what does God see?
• Read Mark 10:17-31. How do you square your “wealthy” life with Jesus’ call to discipleship?

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This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”

Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.