Journey Through Mark – 10

Ecuador 2013Welcome back to our journey together. I pray that by now this walk is a part of your daily routine. I pray that as we walk together, you are growing closer and closer to our walking companion – Jesus.  Today as we walk in His company, there is much to learn. Some of His teachings are uphill walks and until our spiritual health improves we will have to take these hills slowly. Some of what we learn from Him today, may upset you. That is okay, we all need reminders of who we should be and not just pats on the head telling us, “that’s alright.” Listen as Jesus talks as we walk.

  • Mark 10:1-12 – Jesus teaches about marriage, divorce, and remarriage. He gives only one reason for divorce and remarriage; the other person’s infidelity.
  • Mark 10:13-16 – Jesus welcomes little children to Him. We must become like children in His eyes.
  • Mark 10:17-27 – A wealthy young man learns a hard lesson about material possessions. A lesson we need to take a serious look at.
  • Mark 10:28-31 – Jesus tells about the cost of truly walking with Him.
  • Mark 10:32-34 – Jesus foretells of His death a third time.
  • Mark 10:35-45 – James and John make a mistaken request.
  • Mark 10:46-52 – Bartimaeus receives his sight.

When the disciples understand the wealthy young man’s plight, Peter exclaims, “See, we have left everything and followed you” (Mar 10:28). As we journey today, take time to reflect on your blessings and what you are willing to give up to walk with Jesus. Are we doing the same at Peter? Do I want to walk with Jesus? If I do, what is the cost?

Honestly, to walk with Jesus does have a cost. Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,” (Mark 10:29). The cost is our earthly ties. To give up our house is to let go of our possessions; what the wealthy young man could not easily do. If my life is build around gaining the world, and laying up treasures on earth (cf. Matt 6:19-21), then following Jesus will be difficult. If I life by the slogan “You Only Live Once,” and use that to do what I want to do and gain what pleases me getting what I can, saving for my long, relaxing, vacationing retirement, then I may have difficulty daily walking with Jesus. Society says to vote for the person and the policy that fattens your wallet and takes care of your wants at little cost to you. Society says to look out for yourself and your life on earth.

Jesus says, No.”  Give all that up and turn your back on your family too. This has to be difficult. My junior high Sunday School teacher converted to Christianity and his family disowned him and considered him “dead” for all practical purposes.

When we commit to this journey with Jesus, people (friends and family) will not understand and some will make your decision difficult. This is part of the persecution Jesus mentions in Mark 10:31. When I told my high school friends, just before graduation that I was going to school to become a minister, I knew some of them would not understand, but there was one I expected to support me. He was a member of a conservative Christian church, a part of the American Restoration Movement. We had very similar religious backgrounds and differed only in some of the specifics of worship.  I thought, he would support me. But it was this friend whose statement stung the hardest. “Why? You are too smart to be a preacher, you could make a lot more money as an medical doctor!”

Yes, the cost of walking with Jesus is high. But high cost equals high rewards. ” . . . receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first” (Mark 10:30-31). Give up your belongings and life to God and know that God will take care of you (cf. Matt 6:25-34). God’s people will not go without necessities and added to that is our eternal inheritance that never fades away or decays! Part of that reality is our new family – those fellow Christians with whom we are so closely connected. I have more “mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers” than I can count. Family I know I can always count on. This family in Christ is a great blessing, one that will follow into eternity.

I high cost? Yes. But an even greater eternal dividend!

– Scott

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