Monday, November 28, 2011

One Thing

A great message from one of my favorite Churches, Edge Church in Adelaide.

The man said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life? I have kept the commandments since my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” - Mark 10:17, 20-21.

There is a drive in our humanity for wholeness and completeness. It’s the feeling of dissatisfaction and desire that keeps us looking for a new solution, a new answer to our problems. Some people will buy the latest fun gadget and be entertained by it for a while, but it's just a temporary remedy. Some people will hear a song and emotionally respond to it, and for a while the feelings of the song will satisfy that urge for completeness. But temporary solutions don’t stop the gnawing in their soul.

The man in this story felt that drive and desperately sought Jesus to ask him about it. Jesus' response went straight to the heart of the issue and shocked the man. After all, this man was perfect. He kept Israel's holy commandments. He was an upstanding member of the community, a role model for society. Even in the wild times of his youth he had obeyed the commandments. But Jesus identified the ‘one thing’ that was missing in this man’s life. And without mincing His words Jesus told the man to give his wealth to poor people and then follow Him.

The man had been living a perfect, holy life according to all standards, but his entire focus was on himself. The one thing he lacked was not something that he could buy or own. Instead, he had to put his attention on other people. Instead of being righteous for himself and expecting God to be generous and merciful to him, he had to be righteous towards others and be generous and merciful to them. And then, instead of following his own desires and whims, he had to follow Jesus. Jesus' message is the same for us. Our pursuit of God must be expressed in our outward focus, being generous and merciful to those in need.

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