Summary: It was a stewardship Sunday out our church and the lectionary text falls on Mark 10:17-31.
17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’ ” 20 He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”
28 Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
When I was in San Francisco, I lived in the Richmond District for some years. There were many yuppies living around that that area and I have heard quite a few yuppies stories, and this is one of them.
A yuppie opened the door of his BMW, when suddenly a car came along and hit the door, ripping it off completely. When the police arrived at the scene, the yuppie was complaining bitterly about the damage to his precious BMW.
"Officer, look what they’ve done to my Beeeemer!!!" he whined.
"You yuppies are so materialistic, you make me sick!!!" retorted the officer, "You’re so worried about your stupid BMW, that you didn’t even notice that your left arm was ripped off!!!"
Oh my gaaad...", replied the yuppie, finally noticing the bloody left shoulder where his arm once was,
"Oh, where is my ... where is my Rolex!!!!!"
In today’s scripture lesson, it talks about a yuppie that approaches Jesus. This yuppie doesn’t look materialistic at all. In fact, he sounds very spiritual. The scripture says that he "ran up and knelt before" Jesus. The fact that he ran to Jesus shows his enthusiasm, and that he knelt down in front of Jesus shows his humility. At least outwardly he appears to be a passionate person. And he asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone." It seems that this young man is centered around himself. His interest is all about himself and about what he wants—eternal life. In seems to have it all, except eternal life. He is full of self-confidence that he believes he can do anything and achieve anything. He is a yuppie. According to Matthew and Luke’s version of the story, he is young, he is rich, he seems to be single, and he is of the ruling class. His attitude is, "Good Teacher, just tell me what to do and I can accomplish it."
But, Jesus tries to turn this self-focused young man around. He said, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone." According to Judaism, the religion of those days, everyone is a sinner, and only God is good. Jesus doesn’t think this young man is calling Jesus good because he recognized him as God. But, this young man is calling Jesus good because he was a kind of humanist that believes human beings can be good. He definitely believed himself to be good.
So Jesus tries to turn is misconception of humanity by telling him that no one is good. And he reminds him, "You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’ ” Jesus mentioned the Ten Commandments, or the Law, because the Law serves as a mirror for us to recognize our sins. In other words Jesus picks up the traditional mirror and tells him to look at himself.