Who do you love? What do you love?
In Mark 10:17-22 we have the only reference in the gospel to Jesus “loving” someone.
What makes this man so special that we learn Jesus “loved” him? The assumption is not that Jesus loved no one else but we aren’t told in the other stories so explicitly as we are told in this story that Jesus loved someone. Why are we told that Jesus “loved” this man?
It is in his commands to the rich man that shows us the reader, that Jesus’ love extends to all he has encountered in his ministry – the healed, the called and the oppressed.
One translation for Mark 10:21 is as follow, “Get up, sell that which you have, give it to the poor and you shall have treasure in heaven. Come, follow me.”
“Get up” is used in “healing” stories. This is a “healing” story as well. It is a healing of the soul from the accumulation of stuff and wealth.
The second “sell that which you have” and last commands “Come, follow me” recalls the disciples and others who were asked to give up all they had and follow Jesus.
These two groups, the healed and the disciples, Jesus alludes to also have his love for they already have done what he asked of the rich man. Even though ultimately the rich man does not do as commanded, Jesus knowing this, still loves him.
The poor are brought front and center with Jesus commanding the rich man to give all he had to the poor. Jesus loves them enough to tell this rich man to provide for them.
Unfortunately, the man cannot obey and leaves. While he has kept the commandments he has not acted in the spirit of the commandments.
Dear Lord, let us not just adhere to the letter of the law but the spirit in which you intended it. Otherwise we run the risk of turning the law into an idol. The Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath. Amen.