Friday, October 12, 2012

Pentecost 20b - Mark 10:17-31

Mark 10:17-31

Maybe if we don’t ask the rich young man’s question, “what must we do to be saved” we don’t have to apply Jesus’ answer, “give everything away and follow me.” But then there is always a nagging doubt that Jesus says what he means and means what he says and the rich will have a hard time finding a hole in the kingdom gate big enough to squeeze through. So what if we just divest ourselves of ten percent and give the poor the proceeds from a garage sale of the stuff we haven’t used in years? Peter feels like he’s done that and more, "we've left everything and followed you” but then he didn't have much to begin with so he thinks giving away the little he had will boost his bottom line. Jesus' answer to Peter is that the balance sheet will not be all that pretty as persecutions are the gate of the kingdom come. This is the problem with both the question, “what must I do to be saved” and the answer, "do this". I do not think Jesus answered the question the rich young man asked. He was responding to the nagging doubt the young man had that despite keeping all the commandments from his youth and being rewarded with riches he needed something more. The trouble for him is that getting more involved having less. The trouble for Peter is that having less involved giving more.

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