#DailyDevotion What Temporal Good Do You Love More Than Jesus?
Mark 10:19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 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.”
Jesus doesn’t seem to particularly care about the order of the commandment. He starts with the fifth, combines the ones on coveting and ends with the fourth. Interestingly enough in the parallel passage in Matthew’s gospel follows the same pattern but the coveting ones are not mentioned and love your neighbor as yourself ends the list. Perhaps we shouldn’t argue so much about the order of them.
But note what commandments are missing, the first table of the law: you shall have no other gods, don’t misuse the name of the Lord, remember the Sabbath day. You could say Jesus gave a passing glance at them when he pointed to God as good. But no, I don’t think that is what Jesus is doing. Surprisingly most people don’t have a general problem with the second table of the law in principle. You’d be surprised the number of pagans, spiritualist and even atheist will appeal to these and say I don’t need God or your God to keep these. In truth, many people keep these outwardly. This man believes, at least outwardly in the God of Israel and is outwardly keeping the first table. He also sincerely believes he’s been keeping the second table of the Law since his bar mitzvah. When the man says this, he just looks at him and loves him. He knows the man is sincere. He knows the man knows he is missing on something and is seeking to find what that something is.
So Jesus then returns to the first table of the Law. This man has an perverse attachment to his wealth. Jesus tells him to sell everything he has, give it to the poor and follow him. The man has first commandment issues. He was looking to his wealth for every good and not God. He would rather have his temporary possessions than eternal life. Jesus points to himself as the first table of the Law. To follow Jesus is to have no other gods, is to not misuse his name and to keep the Sabbath holy. Following Jesus is keeping the first table of the Law.
So what about you? What would Jesus tell you to get rid of to follow him? It isn’t the same for all people. If you lost everything you had and did not have joy in Christ, what would find you have replaced Christ with? What you be angry at God for taking away from you? Would it be wealth, a job, a spouse, a child, a car, alcohol, drugs, sex, a church, a political party or some way of thinking even? What are you so attached to in this life you would refuse to enter into life eternal with Jesus because he took it from you? That is what your true god is. Would you pray this prayer; Dear Jesus remove from me all things in my life that keep me from following you that I may trust in you alone and enter into eternal life.
Heavenly Father, we cling to many things in this life that prevent us from following Jesus with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Give us new hearts and spirits that look and cling to Christ Jesus alone that nothing would hinder us from entering eternal life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.