Do Not be Afraid

Text: Mark 10:32
They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. (NRSV)

This passage is set in the context of Jesus’ last trip to Jerusalem where he will be arrested, tried, found guilty, and crucified.  Yet, to the amazement of those who are following Jesus, Jesus walks boldly ahead of them.  They are afraid.

Jesus does not always lead us to places that feel safe.  The life of one who is following closely to the will of God in a world that is so full of selfishness, power-lust, greed, avarice, and materialism, is not an easy life.  But it is in the midst of these kinds of sins that Jesus came in order to heal and forgive.  And it is in the midst of these kinds of sins that the Church of Jesus Christ is called to follow after Jesus even today.

When the modern day disciples of Jesus Christ take the risk to continue to follow Jesus and live in ways that are selfless instead of selfish, ways that give power away instead of lusting over even more power, ways that share their wealth instead of hording their wealth, ways that share their possessions instead of trying to gather more and more things around them,  then these disciples are living out the gospel message of God’s generous love and care that is not necessarily received well in the kingdom of this world.

It is risky living.  The kind of risky living that those who were following Jesus into Jerusalem were practicing.  But there is no reason for us to be afraid.  Unlike those who were following Jesus that day who did not understand what was unfolding, we know that Jesus has won the victory.  We understand that Jesus gave his all that we might have the freedom from sin that allows us to do the right thing even when it is not the popular thing.  We know that we have all we need flowing from the generosity of God and do not need to seek comfort in the gathering of wealth, power, and possessions.  Our comfort comes in the sharing of ourselves as we share the good news of God’s love for the world.

Have you been afraid to follow Jesus into a life that cares less about things than it does people? Have you been afraid to follow Jesus into a life that gives away instead of a life that takes away? Do not be afraid to follow Jesus into the life of the Kingdom of God; Jesus has already won the victory.

Pray with me:

God, I am sometimes afraid to trust enough to hold onto my wealth, power, and possessions loosely in a world that seems to value these things more than people.  Remind me that all I have comes from you and that you call me to use it for the glory of your Kingdom.  AMEN.

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