Monday, October 5 Mark 10:17

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Mark 10:17

It seems the holiest of questions.

There is no reason to question either the sincerity of the questions or the motives behind asking it. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Once there was a young man who was determined to be a success in life. Even as a child he had the vision and the determination to be the best at anything he attempted. He developed a strong sense of discipline in his studies. He decided he would be the financial manager of the most successful fund in the world. But then he reached a point in college where he questioned everything. “What was the point?” he asked himself. “Surely there must be more to life than being the best.”

So he quit school. Got rid of everything he owned. And he moved to India to study at the feet of a renowned guru.

Several months later he called his parents to say hello. When asked how he was doing, with great excitement he told them how much more quickly he was advancing in his studies than any other student, how his teacher told him he was a natural and could undoubtedly have his own school some day….

So it is that the desire to “do it on our own” is woven so deeply into our humanity that are powerless to remove it. Whether we strive to do our best or quit trying and give up, deep within us growls this voice telling us that it is up to us.

Sometimes the accent is on the WHAT, other times on the DO, but at all times the “I” is written in bold capital letters.

So it was that this young man who had everything knelt before Jesus. What else could he ask, what other room was there in his imagination, but to ask – “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

This inner drive isn’t all bad. It gives rise to tremendous creativity, unleashes the power of our potential. It gets us up in the morning. But far too often, like a flooding river exceeding its banks, it also keeps us up at night.

The truth, of course, is that there is nothing we must do to inherit eternal life because there is nothing we CAN do to inherit eternal life. Eternal life is God’s realm. The questions with the most real world significance are those questions about real life.

But he asked the question and Jesus stopped to listen. Tomorrow we will join this man at the feet of Jesus to hear what he has to say to all of us.

Let us pray: Dear Lord, we long for the fullness of life. Your Spirit has already planted a restlessness in us, a holy discontent, that seeks the satisfaction of living your will. Guide us in discovering what we can do today to answer that call. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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One Response to “Monday, October 5 Mark 10:17”

  1. Bob Nagy Says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful insight into this text. By following this text, you have very hlepful.

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