As Jesus was setting out on his journey, a man ran up, knelt before him and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 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.'”
And the man said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.”
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “There is one thing you still need to do: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross and follow me.”
Saddened by what he heard, the man went away in grief, for he had many possessions.
Questions to consider:
- Why does Jesus say that only God is good? Why wouldn’t he consider himself “good?”
- If you were to measure yourself by the 10 Commandments, how would you stack up against the rich man?
- Why did Jesus tell the rich man to sell all his possessions?
- What does it mean to “take up your cross and follow me?”
- What makes the rich man sad?
- If Jesus asked you to do the same thing he asked the rich man, would you be able to do it? Why or why not?
I recently discovered a blog that has given me a great deal to think about. It is called Today at the Mission: Daily Life in a Homeless Shelter and it, among other things “a record of an emotional and spiritual journey undertaken in the kitchen of an anonymous homeless shelter that could be anywhere, or everywhere.” One recent post was especially thought-provoking. Entitled “The ‘Following Jesus’ Manifesto,“ and written by blogger “rhymes with kerouac,” this post struck me as hitting on some essential truths about Christian discipleship. I reprint it below and encourage you to visit the blog by clicking on either hyperlink above.
What do you think about these ideas?
- Stop talking about Jesus. Just stop. If we loved the people around us half as much as we say we love Jesus the rest of this manifesto would be entirely redundant.
- Live a secret life. Invest the time, effort and vulnerability necessary to delve deeply into the scripture and prayer. Spend long periods of time in stillness. There is no shortcut to this, there is no other way. Without a deep and secret life we soon find ourselves talking about Jesus instead of being like Jesus.
- Stop pretending. I’m a Christian, and I suck. So do you. Let’s get that out of the way, shall we?
- Give more than you get. There will always be more than enough.
- Be present for those around you. Following Jesus has nothing to do with your work, your resume or your income. In fact, nothing that matters does.
- Treasure broken-ness. Our broken places are sacred spaces in our heart. Honour them. Value them. In doing so you love the unlovely, publicly declaring the beauty of God’s image in everyone. Greet the broken with comfort and cool water.
- Throw a party.
- Know Jesus well enough to recognize him on the street. This is rather important, because he can always be found on the street – and he usually looks more like a pan-handler than a preacher.
- Accept ingratitude and abuse as a fixed cost. Embrace them, and then go the extra mile.
- If you follow Jesus, you will anger religious people. This is how you will know.
By the way, you can purchase a book by the same author entitled Today at the Mission by clicking here.
Source: The ‘Following Jesus’ Manifesto
Originally published on Mon, 08 Jan 2007 01:33:10 GMT by [rhymes with kerouac]