Are you willing to leave all behind?
Like Luke 9, Mark 9-10 is jam packed with action with Jesus on the move. In many ways, Luke 9 and Mark 9 share many of the same events, including the Transfiguration. Yet, Mark 10 provides us with another view of the seriousness of the gospel call through two events.
First up is the rich young man. This man desires eternal life and asks Jesus what he needs to do to receive it. By all accounts, he is living a moral and upstanding life according to the Law of Moses. He does everything he should and even does good deeds. Yet, when Jesus tells him to sell everything and follow him, he cannot do it. He is too tied to his lifestyle to give it up.
Yet, at the end of Mark 10 we encounter a blind beggar named Bartimaeus. As he hears Jesus passing by he cries out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Hearing these words, Jesus shows him compassion and restores his sight. Immediately, Bartimaeus leaves everything behind and follows Jesus, no questions asked.
As we saw in Luke 9, we must be willing to lose our life so we can find it. This is what we find in these two events. The rich man was not willing to lose his life to find it, but Bartimaeus was. This is the gospel call and what it requires of us. And Jesus knows this is hard. This is why he tells his disciples that even though they may suffer persecution and hardship in this life because of the gospel, the rewards in the life to come are worth it.
Today, meditate on the events in these chapters. How do they challenge you? Does it change how you view the gospel and its call to discipleship?