We may not want to admit it but this Jesus guy wasn’t really the life of the party.

Jesus was not a very popular guy.  Sure, there were the blessings, the teachings and the healings (those played especially well to the crowds) but he himself refuses to be called good, even here.  He didn’t tell people what they wanted to hear.  His answers weren’t what they were looking for and I’m certain many went away saddened like this ruler.  Still, I don’t think he’s saying you have to be without money or home or family to enter the kingdom of God.

Surely we can agree that if money rules your life, the getting, accumulating and the having of it, then God will not be first and who could expect him to take second position?  Also, if we aren’t willing to at least temporarily give up our home whether for a mission or the extravagance of something like a fur sink (old Steve Martin joke) then we’ve put possessions ahead of God once again.  And last, if we aren’t willing to give up our family if they do not follow God we’ve put that relationship ahead of our relationship with Him.  Not popular stuff, but necessary.

God won’t accept second place.  He’s not okay with silver, it’s gold he’s after and lest you think that just means money consider the poor woman who gave a small amount but all she had.  We’re talking commitment here and not necessarily a popular one at that.  Still it’s possible.

As Jesus said the impossible for us alone is possible with God.  With him we can give up the things, the money, the possessions/status and even relationships.  All of these may take us away from him and that’s not what he’s about.  Make him the center and there isn’t anything that holds you back.  He doesn’t promise popularity or even the norm here in this life but in him today and eternally the riches abound.  Now that; should be popular.

This following-Jesus thing isn’t always easy but it’s worth it.  We’re going to suffer some unpopularity just like Jesus did I imagine.  Still, with God there isn’t anything that’s impossible.  So we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.

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