Not Like a Child
As Jesus started on His way, a man ran up to Him and fell on his knees before Him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Mark 10:17 NIV
We just finished the story of the people bringing their children to Jesus. As I child, I remembered that story with special interest. Immediately following that story, and I think it is by no coincidence, the story of this rich young man appears in our Bible. I think there is a reason for the placement.
This rich young man wanted eternal life. He had lived a good, righteous life, we learn. He had many possessions, but he knew his eternity was not secure. He hears about this man Jesus, and that He seems to be a “Good teacher”, and so he comes to Jesus asking for eternal life. What a contrast exists between this rich young man and the little children who were brought to Jesus.
As we have seen over the last few days, the little children came to Jesus by faith. They didn’t have anything to bring to Jesus. They accepted Jesus just as He was, without any hesitation. This rich young man, who desperately wanted salvation, thought there must be something he could “do” to gain eternal life.
I wonder if this is why Jesus, who knew His earthly ministry would be so short, had just told the people to come to Him like a little child. He no doubt knew that His encounter with this rich young man was about to occur. He knew this rich young man would want to earn salvation. He had earned everything else. He could buy anything else He wanted.
Oh, my dear friend, aren’t you and I often just like this rich young man? In our attempt to earn God’s favor we think there is something to do, and yet He loves us just because we are; just because we are part of His creation. The greatest lesson from the Christian life, I believe, is that it is not about us, it is about Him. This is something the rich young man failed to hear.
Will you and I?