“The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.’”(Mark 10 v26-27)
In the last devotional I mentioned that we have to be very carefully if we have been blessed, because we have the responsibility to be servants, not masters. This is almost impossible to do if we are rich, as we can see in the story of the rich young man that immediately precedes today’s passage.
This rich young man was very devout. He knew all of God’s commands, and he had obeyed them. At least that is what he had thought! But Jesus knew better. When he listed the commandments, he did not actually list the two greatest commands. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)
To obey all the law properly the rich young man would need to rethink his attitude to money, and focus on being a servant instead of a master. “Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.’” (Mark 9: 21)
Jesus is not condemning the man for having wealth, in fact it says quite clearly that he loved him. What Jesus is doing is showing this man that there is a better way. The blessings he had been given were not wrong in themselves, but the man’s attitude to his blessings was. He did not use what God had given him to serve others, and this meant that he was missing out on the true riches, the treasure in heaven.
Forsaking yourself is not easy. In fact the disciples soon realised that it is impossible. ‘Who then can be saved?’ Who can truly live a life of a servant? Aren’t we genetically programed to be selfish? Isn’t it just natural to want to preserve our own life, and take care of ourselves? If we have to give up everything, then we may as well just give up altogether.
But Jesus looks at us, and he loves us. He knows a better way, where we can have God’s blessings and not get caught up in them. We can be rich and still be a servant. We can live a great life and still carry our cross. We can suffer and still rejoice. With man all this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2: 5-11)
Jesus had every blessing, even the very nature of God. But what did he do with this extraordinary blessing? He made himself a servant, completely and totally, even to the point of going through a humiliating death for us. What did God do? He not only restored Jesus life, and the blessings he had given, but he made him a master of all – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
This is Jesus most excellent way. Whatever God has blessed you with needs to be used with a servant’s heart, then you will not only be blessed in your life here on earth, but you will also be blessed abundantly in your eternal life in heaven. But this is only possible if you take on the very nature of Jesus by accepting his Holy Spirit in your heart.