Guess Who Wants Your WalletWhy do we act surprised when we see Jesus demanding a rich young ruler to sell everything, give to the poor, then come follow Him? (Mark 10:17-31). Some people may find this even a little unfair. But consider this:

Jesus was raised by a single mom with several other children in the home.
Jesus never went to Disney World. He didn’t even make it to Cedar Point!
Jesus never had a chance to attend a university.
Jesus never had a girlfriend.
Jesus never saw a Pediatrician when He was a baby and He never took any vitamins.

Mary didn’t even own a single diaper. Imagine that: The divine unseen never once felt the soft touch of a Huggies. That is just not fair!

And here I am, speaking only of earthly things, of all the things that Jesus would have to go without just for being born a man in that part of the world. Jesus, by the way, would have had a lot more in common with a child in sub Saharan Africa today than with a child born in Lancaster County.

But there were so many more extravagant things Jesus had to give up just to make sure He would come down to earth so that people like me would have a way to make peace with God.

In His High Priestly prayer before His crucifixion, Jesus speaks of the glorious things He experienced with the Father before the world was. The author of Hebrews spoke of a very unfair trade off that Jesus was asked to become a part of. He said, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2).

And what was this famous joy for which the Son of God was willing to suffer? What justified such extreme pain and humiliation? It was the joy of seeing the Father’s plan at work; the joy of bringing men, women and children to an intimate fellowship with God; the joy of giving people who were once lost a way filled with hope for today and tomorrow; the joy of salvation from the bondage to sin; the joy of victory over death; the joy of a guilt-free life; the joy of love in all its fullness. I could go on and on but I think you get my point.

And the point is that Jesus has earned the right to demand anything He wants from a potential disciple. This Sunday we will learn from the story of the rich young ruler that there are times that you will be asked to give either all or nothing. Everything we have already belongs to God, but from time to time God will be more specific about a big ask. If this sounds like double dipping to you, it is. God is allowed to do that and if you question it, check the pierced hands of Jesus and you will quickly realize how foolish your questioning is.

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.'” (Mark 8:34).

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade
Lead Pastor, Grace Church, Lititz, PA