All three synoptic Gospels (Matthew 19, Mark 10 and Luke 18) tell of the rich young man asking Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life. Only Mark has a side note that jumps off the page at me. Read all three accounts and see what you discover. Find it? Plain as the nose on my face! It’s in Mark 10: 21.
What is? That Jesus is looking at this young man. Even more, that Jesus loves him. Really? I hadn’t noticed that before.
Jesus loves this man. Sadly, he’s the only person in all the Gospels who leaves Jesus’ presence with sorrowful heart. Some become ecstatic. Others joyous. Many angry, wanting His death. This wealthy young man sadly slinks away.
Sad for he has too many riches that block his path to the Messiah. A god of greenbacks means too much to him. Possibly fears of poverty and destitution cause him to surround himself with more and more shekels until he no longer sees the forest or the trees. Blinded by gilt.
Yet Mark says that Jesus keeps looking at this young man with a loving gaze. Wanting the best for him, knowing that he’ll choose the lesser and the least. So often this is our story. Settling for a minus sign. Taking baby steps when adult ones would lead to higher spiritual rungs. Sitting back when we should be standing up for Jesus.
I do wonder, as life takes varied tolls on this young man, who may become middle-aged and then old and older, if money and things loose their grip on his heart. And he remembers the One who longs for and loves him, wanting more for him rather than the less he’s willfully mired in.
If then, he turns his heart to Jesus, who loves him and looks for him. He reaches out, with arms and hands wide-open, embracing His Savior. I wonder. Could go either way.
How about you? Have you welcomed Jesus into your life? Really? Not sure? Then do it now. Wait not a second longer. After all, He’s been in love with, well, forever!
Thank you, Jesus. You’re all we’ll ever need. Amen.