Waters of Life

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Mark - Who is Christ?
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to MARK
PART 5 - Christ Reveals His Death and His Life to His Disciples (Mark 8:27 - 10:45)

11. Jesus and the Rich Man (Mark 10:17-27)

MARK 10:17-27
17 As he was going out into the way, one ran to him, knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” 18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except one—God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not give false testimony,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and mother.’” 20 He said to him, “Teacher, I have observed all these things from my youth.” 21 Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross.” 22 But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful, for he was one who had great possessions. 23 Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, “How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answered again, “Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.” 26 They were exceedingly astonished, saying to him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus, looking at them, said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God.”

Every man wants to secure his life in ease and freedom, trying to amass money, properties, and gold. Students study to obtain a well-paid job, people build their policies on economy and welfare, and some countries nationalize individuals’ properties to make the people proprietors of everything.

But who thinks of his Creator, serves him, and delivers to him his life and possessions? Many try to serve both God and mammon, seeking a good life on earth and security in the other life too. Yet, they are losers.

A young man of quality came to Jesus asking salvation for eternal life. How encouraging to find young people today interested in spiritual matters, and leaving material vanities! That young man was prepared for sacrifice and good deeds, and he called Jesus “Good Teacher” with all respect.

However, Christ refuted this superficial title, and modified the human ideals in the young man’s mind, saying to him, “No one is good except God alone.” Do you recognize that these words condemn all men – including us - and confront them with their iniquities?

These words included the hidden demand to the young man to recognize and believe that he who stood before him was not only a good teacher, but the good God himself, for Jesus Christ is in fact the Good Shepherd, and the loving Son of God. He demands from us faith in his absolute power.

Jesus loved this young man who, through his own efforts, sought to keep God’s commandments circumspectly, and wanted to excel his friends in virtues and clean walk. This is exactly what Jesus wants from us: to become free from the bonds of sin, keep away from mammon, and trust God alone. Then, in the light of Christ, we may see our numerous sins, and the corrupt men within us, and resort to the only possibility of salvation that is the cross. In this manner, we can receive everlasting life today.

But the young man was rich, and he preferred money rather than following Jesus. In this choice, he refused spiritual things, and relied on material things, in spite of his apparent godliness.

Dear reader, test yourself honestly. Do you love money, and trust riches, property, and health, in this way falling to destruction for building your life on perishable things? Do you recognize that you are very rich in yourself? For example, how much is your right eye worth? What price are your gifts and times? Do you thank God for all the good things he has given you? If you would be faithful to your Creator, then put all your gifts, immediately, at his disposal. Do not care if you are poor among the people, but strive to be rich in Christ, who emptied himself from the riches of his glory, lived among us, and satisfied himself with the least, trusting the protective care of his heavenly Father at all times. God offers himself to those who commit themselves, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to God and his service. He makes of the sinner a saint, and changes the idolater into a child of God.

PRAYER: O Lord Jesus, you called us your sons, and made us children of God our Father. Remove our love of money from our hearts, and our trust in material things from our minds. Renew your followers that they may not long for earthly things, but become satisfied with your power, your providence, and your presence with us. Grant us, in the last days’ temptations, the gift of discerning spirits, and the obedience of faith that we may not go astray, but follow you alone. Amen.


  1. Why do we see in both mammon and riches two temptations similar to idolatry?


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