Have you ever prayerfully wondered what you must do to truly inherit eternal life? That was the question that the rich man posed to Jesus in Mark 10:17. “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” What must we do? We must walk in the dust of our Rabbi Jesus Christ. Are you ready to get dusty? If so, I invite you to read more.
Jesus answered the rich man by telling him there were two important things he must do. First, he needed to keep the commandments. The rich man told Jesus he had been doing so. Next, and much harder to do, Jesus told the rich man that he needed to give up the things of this world, his worldly pleasures and wealth, and follow Him. We are told the rich man walked away sad. Will you and I walk away sad?
Following Jesus can be challenging. To really follow Jesus means to become a disciple of Jesus. The word disciple (mathetes) means “learner”. According to the book INTO HIS LIKENESS by Edward Sri, which inspired my message today, a first–century Jewish disciple would, “live with the rabbi, share meals with the rabbi, pray with the rabbi and observe the way the rabbi studied, taught, rested, served the poor, interacted with his friends and debated other teachers.” A good disciple would likely accompany the rabbi on all of his daily routines. According to an old Jewish saying, a true disciple should follow the rabbi so closely that he covers himself with the dust from the rabbi’s feet and he should drink in his words thirstily.
That is a tall order. I don’t know about you, but I often respond to Jesus’ call much more like the rich man. I do strive to keep His commands, but I have found that giving up the treasures of this world and seeking only after the treasures of Heaven is a much more daunting challenge. I don’t believe that Jesus was merely telling the rich man to give up his financial wealth; no I believe he was telling him to give up his worldly attachments. What things are you and me so attached to that we can’t seem to let go? What bad habits do we cling too tightly to? Where do we spend most of our time? Do we spend adequate time thirstily drinking in God words in Scripture?
We must be willing to ask ourselves a soul piercing question. Are we honestly a follower of Christ or just a fan of Christ? Jesus tells us the following in Luke 6:40, “No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher.” Are you walking in the dust of Jesus so closely that you are “like Jesus”? In 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul tells us, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” Are we living our lives as imitators of Jesus?
Being a disciple is really not an option for us. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus instructs His Apostles to go to the ends of the earth and make disciples of all nations. He tells them to teach us all to observe His commands. Jesus concludes His instructions to the Apostles by adding emphasis to His instructions. Notice he says, “Teaching them all that I commanded you.” It was a command, not a suggestion.
We have been called to be disciples of Jesus Christ. I am sure that we all have things holding us back. Giving up our favorite worldly things to follow in Christ’s footsteps might, like the rich man, make us sad. However, the trade-off is eternal happiness and joy. Ultimately it comes down to a choice. We have free will. We must ask ourselves, “will we walk in the dust of the master or wallow in the mud of the tempter?” We must choose!
Heavenly Father, I do want to be covered in the dust of Your Son. I want to follow Him so closely that I become like Him. In order to do so, I must give up my worldly attachments. Father, grant me the grace, strength and courage to let go of anything that is holding me back. In Jesus name I pray, amen!
As always, I love to read your comments below as well as hear from you personally by clicking here.