Wednesday, March 24, 2010
What can I give?
And looking upon them Jesus said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
Shortly before Jesus makes his triumphal entry into Jerusalem he is approached by a rich young ruler and is asked, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?" Jesus always seems to upset the apple cart wherever he goes by turning traditional customs and beliefs upside down. In ancient Jewish culture, someone who is rich is considered blessed by God. So when Jesus replied with, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." Matthew 19:21; the disciples were perplexed and astonished.
Then Peter said, and I love him for this, he probably said what all of them were probably thinking......"We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?" Matthew 19:27 This was an honest question, they had sacrificed livelihoods and families to follow Jesus. In other words, "What's in it for me?" You never had to wonder where you stood with Peter, he just came right out with it! I think Jesus loved him for it.
Jesus didn't admonish him, he actually then told them what their reward would be. He also mercifully left out the part about everything they would suffer.
Maybe he wanted to give them a picture of hope, something tangible that they could grab onto, knowing all the events that were soon to follow in Jerusalem. He knew they really didn't have a clue of the awful events ahead....I can imagine that this made His heart very tender toward them.
It makes me wonder, what would I give up for Him? There is much talk in church about what we "get" for our faith today and what God will do for us, what He will give us if we do "A" and "B" but not much talk about what we can give, what we can do for Him.
Lord, help me to ask not what I can get, but what can I give to You today. I can only do this with Your strength. Give me a heart of humility and a desire to serve You. I ask all this in Jesus name, Amen