Mark 10:13-22

Mark 10:13-16 - I've often wondered about this passage. What exactly was Jesus getting t saying we need to receive the kingdom like a child? I mean, there are many ways I can imagine that being like a child wouldn't be good. My kids can be down right selfish and stubborn, I'm assuming that Jesus is not telling us to imitate that.

I think, though, that he wants us to imitate their innocence and faith. My kids listen and I teach them about God an Jesus. When I tell them what God thinks is important and how God wants us to view the world, they take it in, absorbing it as fact. They don't analyze and scrutinize (for the most part), the simply accept it. That's how we ought to approach Jesus. We don't need explanations of how it all works before we believe. I think we seek that too much, and it holds us back.

Mark 10:17-22 - The price of following Jesus is high. He demands all of us, just as he did this man. It's all too easy to shake our heads at him and his unwillingness to go all the way, but are we much different? What lines have we drawn that we won't cross for Jesus? Have we marked out a nice, comfortable boundary to practice our faith in and we aren't' willing to step outside of it?

Jesus demanded all of this man, he demands it from us too. That's his call, all or nothing. It sounds harsh, and for me, it can send my mind reeling on this fools errand of determining if I'm doing enough or not. It gets me worked up and worried about where I stand. That's not Jesus' point, I know, but it's hard to separate full commitment from working for approval from God. Approval is not tied to performance, but that's how we are conditioned to see it. It's true in our jobs and school and in too many of our relationships, so we think that it's true of God too.

Actually, like so many things of God, it's the opposite. God's approval is not tied to our performance, rather our performance is tied to God's approval. What I mean is, we ought not to seek to perform better, rather we ought to simple seek God. As we see him and His holiness and as we see that we are not like him but yet he loves us and, through Jesus, approves of us in spite of our shortcomings, we ought to be motivated to live as he expects. We have it backwards. We seek to be good so God will be pleased, but God is already pleased so we are free to be good.

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