Proper 23 – Series B

Today we will see Jesus love a deluded young man, and do his best to extract this fellow from his idolatry. He will handle him roughly, give him a good shake to wake him up, and when he groggily falls back asleep, Jesus will still love him, and pinch him so that he might be roused from the deep sleep of his dependency on mammon.

Mark sadly tells us that the young man walks away, unable to see the world any differently than he has in the past. The preacher today may well also need to apply a little tough, parental sorts of love. The sin of trusting anything other than God is deep-seated, difficult to see in our own selves and particularly stubborn. The whole point of security is that we don’t have to move, you see. The reason we trust in this is because we think it will work.

But let not the preacher despair, Jesus still loves the sleepers. He smiles at them and still is about the business of waking them up to the reality that a trust placed in anyone or anything other than the Lord of heaven and earth is like leaning on a bruised reed. It will snap in your hand and pierce your palm. He knows how much that hurts; he has had his palms pierced in case you had forgotten that.

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