"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Rich young ruler
Mark 10:17-31 Commentary
by Elizabeth Shively
When I approach this passage, many people ask me whether they, too, are required to sell all their possessions and give the money to the poor. I answer, "Maybe."
This story reveals what we cherish most. It is about the relationship between a person's greatest treasure and the self-denial required to follow Jesus. A close reading unsettles our view of discipleship by demanding that it consist of radically following Jesus rather than simply following the rules.
The Context: Jesus Teaches His Disciples Radical Discipleship
This story is part of the teaching block on discipleship that runs from 8:27-10:45, united by Jesus' three-fold prediction of his suffering, death and resurrection (8:31; 9:31; 10:32-34). After each prediction, the disciples expose their misunderstanding of Jesus' mission and their participation in it, and Jesus teaches what it means to follow him (8:32-37; 9:32-37; 10:35-45). To follow Jesus means to deny oneself and take up one's cross, in imitation of Jesus' own self-sacrificial service. It means to lose one's "soul" or life in order to save it (8:34, 35). Its goal is life in the kingdom of God that Jesus has come to bring. ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 027: Rich young ruler.
February 26, 2012
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Craig Koester for "I Love to Tell the Story," a weekly conversation on the narrative lectionary. This week's reading is Rich young ruler: Mark 10:17-31.