1 …And again, as was his custom, Jesus taught them.
2 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful … “
15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.
21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.”
29 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, 30 who will not 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. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Here we have Jesus talking about the “upside down” Kingdom of God.
Everything is so counterintuitive about God’s eternal kingdom compared to our standard way of seeing the world.
Mark shows us what describes some of the actions and thinking of the people on the scene here.
A couple of themes:
Teaching vs. Testing
Truth vs. Treasure
What characterized the actions of Jesus? Teaching.
“as was his custom, Jesus taught”
What characterizes the actions of the Pharisees? Testing.
“in order to test (Jesus)”
What motivates the actions of the followers of Jesus vs the would be followers of Jesus?
Truth and Treasure
Jesus said multiple times:
“Truly, I say to you …”
Peter said “we have left everything and followed you.”
While the rich young man went away sorrowful because of his unwillingness to leave his great possessions.
What do I really want, Truth or Treasure?
There’s a way to have both.
It’s just the opposite way of seeing the world from the standard.
I want to pursue treasure and then justify it as right.
Jesus says to pursue Truth … His Ways and His Words … and I end up with Treasure, eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
So, then, how do I lean into the Truth of Jesus?
Do I want to follow His teaching?
Or do I want to test His teaching?
I’m an excellent “rationalizer”.
I can rationalize just about any choice I make or action I take.
I’ll test Jesus instead of follow His teaching.
And usually it’s because I want immediate treasure over eternal truth.
It’s the same thing that goes all the way back to that first tempter and tester in the Garden …
“Did God really say that?”
Sure, I may get what I want immediately … whatever “forbidden fruit” that may be.
But what am I giving up eternally?!
I must always pursue Teaching over Testing and Truth before Treasure!
Thank you, God, for your Truth
Help me hunger for it
Help me follow it even when I don’t understand it
Help me see you as the ultimate treasure
Help me leave anything that keeps me fro you
In Jesus name