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Lenten Journey of Release & Renewal (Day Twenty-Five)




Day Twenty-Five



Scripture: Mark 10:17-31

17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ 18 Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.”’ 20 He said to him, ‘Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.’ 21 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.’ 22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’ 24 And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ 26 They were greatly astounded and said to one another, ‘Then who can be saved?’ 27 Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.’

28 Peter began to say to him, ‘Look, we have left everything and followed you.’ 29 Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.’



Observation:





Jesus loved him. He was a well-educated, devout, and passionate young man who was eager to learn about eternal life. Perhaps he was more qualified to be a disciple of Jesus than the other disciples, who were fishermen, a tax collector, peasants, zealots, and so on. However, he lacked one thing: he was rich.


So, being rich was the problem? Yes, that was the problem. We should not water down the words of Jesus because it’s uncomfortable to hear. He clearly said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” That was shocking to everyone who heard it back then, as much as it is shocking to us today.


Why was being rich the problem? In that agricultural economic system, the only way to be conspicuously rich was to own large estates called latifundia. Under Roman colonialism, this ‘latifundialization’—the process of land accumulation in the hands of a few wealthy landowners—became worse and worse. These wealthy landowners maintained their latifundia by depriving more and more peasants, daily workers, and slaves.


Meanwhile, Jesus’ Kingdom of God movement was about declaring the Year of Jubilee to “bring good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free (Luke 4:18-19).” Then, how can a slave owner become a disciple of Jesus?


The commitment required to follow Jesus was to give up nothing less than everything. May I have the courage to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, who gave his all for love’s sake.


Application:

  1. Is there something you’re invited to “give up” to follow Jesus today?

  2. What does that mean to follow Jesus for you?



Prayer / Reflection:

Song of Reflection: I Surrender All













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