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Thursday, October 11, 2018

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"Jesus, looking at him, loved him." There's so much about this story that is challenging. Did Jesus really mean to give up everything? We love definite answers, and this young man thought he wanted that definite answer. Jesus knows even before he answers the question that his answer will be a problem.

We all struggle with this story. Even if we have made sense of Jesus' answer, we may not see it the same way in the future. In this example of one of the few times Jesus seems to give a direct answer to a question, we may find what he has to say a bit uncomfortable to hear. But then we also hear "Jesus, looking at him, loved him." Even before Jesus gave the impossible answer and the rich young man walked away, "Jesus, looking at him, loved him." Those words don't let us off the hook, but they are a first and important thing to keep in mind.

Before the questions and the answers, Lord, you looked and you loved. As we wrestle with how we are called to live out your commands, remind us that first, you see us and love us. Amen.

Sarah Raymond, '13
Pastor, Grand Forks Rural Parish, Thompson, N.D.

Mark 10:17-31 (NRSV)

17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
18 Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.
19 You know the commandments: "You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.' "
20 He said to him, "Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth."
21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."
22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!"
24 And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
26 They were greatly astounded and said to one another, "Then who can be saved?"
27 Jesus looked at them and said, "For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible."
28 Peter began to say to him, "Look, we have left everything and followed you."
29 Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news,
30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age--houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions--and in the age to come eternal life.
31 But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.