Jesus’ life lament

13 Oct

Faith is not the absence of questions, but the abundance of them

After finishing the series on Mark’s gospel, ‘questioning Jesus’ I paused. Reflecting on the series I returned to Mark 10, the passage with the rich ruler, who runs towards Jesus and moves to his knees with, perhaps, the essential question embedded within the gospels,


17 And as he is going forth into the way, one having run and having kneeled to him, was questioning him, `Good teacher, what may I do, that life age-during I may inherit?’ Young’s Literal Translation

Mark 21: 10,
21 ‘And Jesus having looked upon him, did love him, and said to him,…’ YLT
“having looked”
implies to my reading: that Jesus also knelt beside, before this ruler; that looks into his rich man’s eyes; that Jesus rises to his feet, perhaps bringing the man up with him, never losing eye contact, and loves him.
Jesus’ eyes never leaves this supplicant.Jesus loves so, he does not ever lose eye contact him. Or with me; or us.

This rich man, sadly, is downcast, ‘sorrowful.’ He is in full lament. He can not speak as He breaks eye contact with Jesus Staring at the dust, downcast he leaves,

‘And Jesus having looked upon him, did love him, and said to him, `One thing thou dost lack; go away, whatever thou hast — sell, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, be following me, having taken up the cross.’

22 And he — gloomy at the word — went away sorrowing, for he was having many possessions.

23 And Jesus having looked round, saith to his disciples, `How hardly shall they who have riches enter into the reign of God!’‘’ Jesus in looking around and laments with his eyes and words to the astonishment of his disciples and all around him,

And the disciples were astonished at his words, and Jesus again answering saith to them, `Children, how hard is it to those trusting on the riches to enter into the reign of God!

25 It is easier for a camel through the eye of the needle to enter, than for a rich man to enter into the reign of God.’ 26 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying unto themselves, `And who is able to be saved?’ 27 And Jesus, having looked upon them, saith, `With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.’

Jesus’ lament astonishes the disciples ‘beyond measure.’ Jesus heart lament overflows here because it is not for just this rich ruler. It is for all he sees. His disciples and the crowd; the rich in monies and power. It is also for me. For us. He can’t stop seeing us: and still looking around at them, eyeing them, seeing them, Jesus states, that salvation for ‘men … is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.’

This is how Jesus answers his own cry for a ruler, for disciples, for us: God. He brings his cries and his audience, those who seek him, to God. How?

God is referred to twice in Jesus’ sentence response. Call to God, see and hear him.

This is the answer to all laments: everything is possible when we prayerfully bring our cries, our lament, before God. Everything.

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