Sticky Stories by Jesus
Aesop wrote fables, concrete stories to communicate abstract concepts, that have survived millennia. One such story is the Tortoise and the Hare. The rabbit, who boasted in his reputation, was challenged to a race by the turtle. In the ensuing contest, the tortoise plodded on faithfully, while the hare slept along the way, resting in his reputation.
Jesus in Matthew 19 told the parable of a rich young man who knew the scriptures and about things of God. He also lived an exemplary life on a righteous course. The challenge of Jesus for him, and for us, was one more thing was needed to be complete. It was a call to abandon that was dear—his control, his riches. Jesus judged his status as incomplete without a focus on serving others, and by doing so, serving God.
The disciples were surprised and perplexed the remark of Jesus, that it is very hard for a rich man to get into the Kingdom of Heaven. Here was a person who was very blessed. From a human point of view the man was regarded as obviously favored by God. But without a focus on serving others, Jesus warns, such a person will not be favored by God in the life to come. He or she will be last.
It is those that assign a low value to earthly things, even leaving houses, family and friends and fields for the sake of the kingdom, that will be first. By this standard, the question each blessed Christ-follower must weigh is, "Where will I be seated in the heavenlies? Near the first or closer to the last?"
Since eternity is a long time, here is an idea: Submit a Personal Profile and review the results to see how you might find a surprisingly good range of assignments, to make a kingdom difference, serving others and thereby serving God. Strive to finish well and finish in front.
Nelson Malwitz, Finishers Project Founder, November 2009