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Two Men – Different Outcomes

Check All That Apply

As Jesus was starting on his way again, a man ran up, knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to receive eternal life?” Mark 10:17 (GNT)

Jesus looked straight at him with love and said, “You need only one thing. Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me.” Mark 10:21 (GNT)

The other one, however, rebuked him, saying, “Don’t you fear God? You received the same sentence he did. Ours, however, is only right, because we are getting what we deserve for what we did; but he has done no wrong.” And he said to Jesus, “Remember me, Jesus, when you come as King!”

Jesus said to him, “I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me.” Luke 23:40-43 (GNT)

It hardly seems fair that two men come to Jesus and one is told to sell everything he has and to the other Jesus says “Don’t worry, you are in!” What we may overlook is that Jesus understood their motives. He knew what made them tick. The Rich Young Ruler wanted to check the box so he could say he was good. The Thief on the Cross issued a heartfelt recognition of Jesus’ goodness.

And so the story plays on today…..most of us want to check the boxes that prove we are good. When you check the boxes to prove you are good, you are only doing that to make yourself feel better. What Jesus wants is your heart. Rest assured, where ever you are in your walk, the attention you get from Jesus will be personal and intimate, just like it was for these two men.

By Elaine Kapetankis

Written by Diane Levy

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