Choices

As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. You know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honour your father and mother.’”

“Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”

Looking at the man, Jesus loved him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he said. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus turned to his disciples and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” This amazed them, but Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard for someone who trusts in riches to enter the kingdom of God. In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God!”

The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.

Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”

Then Peter spoke up. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said.

“Yes,” said Jesus, “and I assure you that anyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and the good news, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Mark

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