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Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost

We focus on the Gospel of the day, which is about the rich young man in Mark 10. Our devotion is from Meditations on the Gospels.

Scripture Readings

Amos 5:6–7, 10–15
Psalm 90:12–17
Hebrews 3:12–19
Mark 10:17–22

Read the propers for today in Lutheran Service Builder.

Devotional Reading

There is something fascinating about this young man of wealth and influence (according to Luke, he was a ruler of the synagogue), because he was so evidently in earnest. As Jesus went on His way—remember it was the way that brought Him nearer and nearer to the cross—the man ran to Him, knelt before Him, and in deep humility asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” What was meant as a sincere compliment did not satisfy Jesus; the man had to have a much deeper knowledge of the Lord. Since doing good works was the only way the man could think of to inherit eternal life, the fast answer to his question was taken from the Law. Only God is good, but the man did not think for a moment that Jesus was God in the real sense of the word. Jesus reminds the young man of the demands of the Law, which he knew well enough, or thought he did. His reply shows clearly that he did not understand the Law in its real meaning, for he claimed he had kept all God’s commands from his youth. With love and pity, the Lord looked on the young man. How He longed to bring him to a better knowledge and the way to salvation! The test was a simple one. Did he really love his Lord enough to give up all he had, let the poor have the benefit of it, and take up his cross and follow Jesus? What an opportunity for the man to be happy forever! But he was not equal to it. To give up his wealth was asking too much. He went away sorrowful. The kingdom did not lose anything when it lost him, but he lost everything when he lost the kingdom.

With a heavy heart, Jesus looked at His disciples and called their attention to the fact of how hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. The disciples were surprised. Like so many of us, they thought it was an advantage to be rich. Jesus explained that there is nothing wrong with being rich, for wealth is a gift of God. But the trouble occurs when we place our trust in our riches instead of trusting in God alone. We lose God and His kingdom when our possessions get in the way. Jesus emphasizes that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. More astonished than ever, the disciples wondered how anyone could be saved under such circumstances. And again, Jesus reminded them that what is impossible for man is possible for God. He alone can save by His redeeming grace.

Devotional reading is from Meditations on the Gospels, pages 322–23 © 2009 Concordia Publishing House. Originally published in 1948 as The Devotional Bible. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Hymn

Video is of “Thee Will I Love, My Strength, My Tower” from A Thousand Voices: 7 Hymn Tune Preludes, Volume 4 © 2018 Concordia Publishing House.

 

Written by

Anna Johnson

Deaconess Anna Johnson is a marketing manager at Concordia Publishing House. After graduating from the deaconess program at Concordia University Chicago, she continued her studies at the University of Colorado—Denver in education and human development. She has worked as a church youth director and served a variety of other nonprofit organizations, such as the Lutheran Mission Society of Maryland. Anna loves playing video games and drinking a hot cup of tea almost as much as she loves her cat and her husband.

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