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Friday, January 13, 2017

Jesus Says, “Them’s the Breaks”

As he was setting out on a journey, a rich young man ran up to Jesus and knelt before him. He asked, “Good teacher, what do I need to do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”

The rich young man stared blankly at him. “I don’t understand…”

But Jesus continued, “You know the commandments as well as I do: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud, honor your father and mother, yada, yada, yada...’”  

And the rich young man said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up till today. What else can there be?” 

Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “There’s one thing you lack: go and sell all you possess. Give to the poor and then you can come follow me.” But at these words he was saddened, and he stepped aside grumbling, for he was one who owned much property.

Standing there also was a poor working man. “Teacher,” he said, “I too have kept the commandments. Well, I’ve kept them as well as anyone.  But, I’ve nothing much to sell. No land, no treasure. Only the sweat of my labor – which I sell every day, and that is barely enough to feed my family. What must I do to be saved?”

Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him also and said to him, “You are blessed. Learn to live in brotherhood and love.”

The rich young man pushed his way forward again. “Wait!” he shouted. “That’s it? You demand that I sell everything I have, everything my father left me and then I can be allowed to follow you, but this farmhand, this high-school dropout, this bucktoothed illiterate gets your blessing? That’s not fair!”

“What can I say?” Jesus shrugged. “Them’s the breaks.”

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Jeff Carter's books on Goodreads
Muted Hosannas Muted Hosannas
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