Mark 10

“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.” (v. 21)

Two words are often overlooked in this verse, and they are that Jesus “loved him”. When we love someone, we will tell them the truth. This rich man was no doubt prepared for the answer that Jesus gave him at first, and was not rebuked for claiming to keep the commandments from his youth up, but he fell short of the last part of the answer, and went away sorrowing. He could not let go of his possessions. I believe that the interesting thing here is that Jesus knew the mans heart, and knew that he would go away unsaved because he did not get the answer he wanted, but He told him the Truth anyway. Sometimes the truth hurts, but it must be revealed anyway. When we give others the Truth of the Word of God we show our love for them. Jesus was telling this man that he too needed to follow Him and tell others the Truth of God, the same truth that would make them free. It does not take great riches to tell the truth! Jesus beheld him, and loved him.

Our Bible tells us that “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn. 15:13), and when we give our time to others, we are giving them a part of our life. You see, time is life that cannot be re-lived; a battery in a flashlight will serve man by lighting his path, it gives its life in so doing, and serves by giving up its power for us. This is how life is for the Christian, we give our service to man, as a light unto his path, and in so doing we give them a portion of something we cannot take back or replenish. So, in this way, we “lay down our life” for our friends.

Incidentally, this is also one of the qualifications of being a disciple, as seen in Luke 14:27, that one must “take up his cross” as we say, and follow Jesus. Our cross, or at least a portion of it, is to carry the message of Life to others. It is our cross because we use up some life in doing so, and for that time, we have laid it down for someone else. Jesus beheld the man, and loved him, we ought to do the same.

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