What would you do if Jesus invited you to follow him? One of the recent gospel stories featured in the Lectionary was Jesus’ encounter with a rich man who wanted to know what to do to inherit eternal life. After the man confirmed that he had followed God’s law since his youth, Jesus invited him to sell his possessions, give the money to the poor, and follow Jesus. He could have been the 13th disciple. Yet Mark records the man’s response, “When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.” (Mark 10: 22) This story is not meant to be an isolated event. Rather it challenges each of us to realize that following Jesus involves letting go, especially letting go of pursuing wealth as the purpose of life and means of our security. In a culture that emphasizes “making our own way” and “securing our own future,” the invitation of Jesus to discipleship seems more threatening than inviting. The link at the bottom of this post is to a sermon that I preached on this challenging story. It does not have the “right answer” but invites us to be open to Jesus in deeper ways by discerning what we need to let go. This is an ongoing part of the journey of faith that calls us to new levels of trust in Jesus words, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.” Jesus does invite us to follow him. What is our response?
Click here to listen to the sermon preached at New Community Church in Washington, DC