25TH MAY 2021
ACTING UPON GOD'S KNOWLEDGE IS A KEY COMPONENT OF OUR DISCIPLESHIP.
Today's Gospel passage is part of yesterday's Gospel passage ( Mark 10:17-27) that talked about a rich man asking Jesus what he needed to do in order to inherit eternal life.
Jesus told him that he should follow all the commandments. He answered Jesus, " Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth. " But when told that he lacks one thing, that is, selling his property and giving to the poor, he goes away sorrowful, unable to follow Jesus.
Let us remember that yesterday's Gospel passage started by mentioning these words: As Jesus was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him. Where was this journey headed to? It was headed to Jerusalem- the place of his crucifixion and death - of giving up his life for our sake. If this man knelt before Jesus, was he seeking a deeper healing because anyone who knelt before Jesus those days knelt seeking physical healing.
This man being unable to sell what he has and give to the poor and follow Jesus, prompts Jesus to say, " It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. " This statement astonished the disciples who then wondered who can be saved but Jesus tells them that with man it is impossible but with God, all things are possible. It is possible through God's power to be saved after heeding his call to follow him.
It is from there that Peter says to Jesus, " Behold, we have left everything and followed you. " Is Peter comparing himself with the rich man who is unable to sell his property? Is he boasting? Does Peter need assurance from Jesus that leaving everything and following him has a reward?
By making this statement is Peter then, a cautionary example for us or the best model of discipleship for us? Though this passage presents wealth and its challenges, it is also deeply presents discipleship and those things that would keep us from following Jesus on his journey and these things are not be limited to wealth alone.
Are we aware of them? Are we concerned about them? The response to today's Psalm is: To one whose way is blameless, I will show the salvation of God. " The rich man's way was blameless because he followed the commandments that taught him not to kill, not to steal, not to cheat or to defraud.
By adhering to the commandments, Jesus shows him the salvation of God by telling him to sell what he has, give to the poor and then follow him. It means that Jesus gave this man the knowledge that he needed concerning inheriting eternal life.
In life, we become wise if we act on the knowledge that we have and in this Gospel passage, Peter seems to have acted on the knowledge that he had but it seems the rich man did not.
Where did he go? We have not been told. Did he change his mind? Maybe he did. Maybe he did not. How does the spiritual knowledge or the spiritual truth that we have lead us to the path of salvation?
When Jesus told the rich man in yesterday's Gospel passage that he lacks only one thing, let us take it as a moment to think about the one thing that we lack.
Failing to act on our knowledge maybe the one thing that we lack. Knowing what we lack and filling that gap maybe an expression of our faith. Where did the rich man go? Did he change his mind? Maybe he did or he didn't.