Items posted on 16 May 2011
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Mark 10.17-23 – The cost of discipleship
Posted: 16 May 2011 in Mark

And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

I wonder how many of us would react differently if we found ourselves in the position of the rich yoing man? Being submissive to the will of God is an idea easy to assent to in theory, but possibly much more difficult to put into practice. There is a theological virtue called detachment, the practice of which is supposed to ensure that we are attached to nothing so strongly that we can’t give it up if the service of God requires that of us. But, of course, that most of us are fairly well attached to clothes on our backs, roofs over our heads and food in our bellies.

Should we be inclined to think that God could never require such sacrifices of us, contemplating the lives of people like Jeremiah, or even of Jesus himself, ought to sober us up a bit.

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