There he is!
I quickened my steps so I would catch up to the man.
The men that always seemed to be around him stopped. One of them spoke quietly to the teacher, motioning in my direction.
"We are preparing for a journey," said one of them who glared impatiently at me.
"This will only take a few minutes."
The teacher looked at me, studying me. He didn't speak, just waited patiently for me to ask my questions. The people said wondrous things about him. Some said he was a prophet. Some said he was a fake. Quite a few said he was the Son of God. I was about to find out.
"Good Teacher," I said, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?"
He shook his head. "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone." He held my gaze. My heart thumped like horse hoofs on a stony road. The Son of God? "You know the commandments; 'Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. Do not defraud. Honor your father and mother.'"
There was nothing profound or life-changing in there. I had been following these commandments all my life. "Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth." Maybe he wasn't the Son of God...
He looked at me. Really looked at me. Like I was a loved one. Like I was family. Then he said it. "You lack one thing. Go, sell all that you have, and give to the poor, and then you will have treasure in Heaven."
"Come, follow me."
He wanted me to give up all that I had worked for in life? All my riches? My house? My life? To follow him? I had responsibilities! Obligations! People that counted on me! I couldn't just leave. There was no way I could give all that up for him.
I shake my head no. There is a sorrowful look in the teacher's eye, like a man who just lost his one and only child. Without another word, I turn around and walk away from him.
With a broken heart, that will never be the same.
Based on Mark 10:17-22
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children." Ephesians 5:1
Children like to play dress up, play house, pretend to be their parents. They can't wait to grow up and be the adult. In their minds, it's unset bedtimes, endless amounts of ice cream, and no homework.
In our minds, it's work, bills, and eighty-seven other things we can't keep track of simultaneously pulling at our attention.
Be imitators of God like children.
It's no mistake that immediately after Jesus tells the people to receive the Kingdom of God like little children, that the rich young ruler comes onto the scene. You can find this in Matthew 19, Mark 10, or Luke 18.
Jesus heard what this young man was saying. Mark 10:21 says that Jesus looked at him, and loved him. Because Jesus loved him, He told the young man what was lacking in his life, what he needed in order to inherit eternal life. He needed to give up all that he had, and follow him.
Jesus loved that young man. He wanted Richy to follow Him, learn, and become a child of God. He was giving him a place to learn how to imitate God. However, Richy would only be able to do all that if he gave up all of the adult distractions around him and all the things he had worked for in life.
Be imitators of God like children.
It will mean different things for each of us, but one thing remains the same. In every case, you have to be about your Father's work, constantly striving to be like Him.
"To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of you minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:22-24
Go to God and tell Him, "I want to be just like You, Dad."
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