Every night my wife and I read from a devotional magazine. Yesterday’s lesson was from Mark’s Gospel. I’ve read it many times before. Haven’t you? The rich man who asks Jesus about inheriting eternal life. Good question?
We know that only Jesus can give us salvation. Look no further. You can’t ‘inherit’ what only God can give us. I can’t. Neither can you! Comes only as received by faith in Jesus alone. Good answer!
Take a gander at verse 21. As I was reading it, I was stopped in my tracks. Grabbed me by the collar. This rich man has told Jesus that in fact he has been faithful in obeying God’s laws. All his life. Wish I could say that. Missed the mark by a long shot. All my life.
Verse 21–‘Jesus looked at him and loved him’. Matthew and Luke also record this encounter. Neither add this sentence. Mark notes that Jesus studies this young man, examines him. More than that, much more, he records that Jesus loves him. The word ‘love’ used here is ‘agape’, God’s love. As clutching as he is with his money, yet the Lord loves him through and through. Similar to what Paul writes in Romans 5:8–‘…God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’. God’s love precedes our faith in Him. His love releases the grip of sin in our lives.
I have the feeling that this young man later came to believe in Jesus. That mammon’s filthy-lucre grip was loosened by the love of the Nazarene. And somehow that word got around. Mark heard of it. He had to make mention. That Jesus’ loving gaze lowered the boom on this man’s clenched fists. No competition with the Lord’s love.
We know we’ll leave everything behind. Nothing of this earth we’ll need in the presence of God’s love. Imagine Jesus looking at us, knowing everything about us, from head to toe. Not coming at us with jealousy or criticism…but with love, the unconditional type. Who’s needs an inheritance when His love is already ours?!
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for giving us your salvation. We love you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.