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MK 10: 17-31
18th S. after Pentecost

I normally like to give unnamed biblical characters a name & a face; humanise them a bit, make them at least a little like us. But not in this case. I reckon we're all meant to see ourselves - as we are - in this guy. No-one else but you, me, as the case may be. The issue, then, is not who he was, but who I am, you are. In our particular situation, whether rich, comfortable. or frankly struggling; owning property, or not; being one of the ruling elite (LK), or just a pleb. We all possess at least our self - unless we trade that off somehow. What are we prepared to do with our self? How much are we prepared to 'give away', of self or what self 'owns', for God's sake & our own?

Think about 'eternal' life as a quality rather than a chronology. Beginning at least here & now for me. Some would say from the beginning of creation, for me & for all of us. But we can't enter into that God-quality life unless & until we become as self-giving as God. The bit about the camel & the eye of a needle is a funny. We miss out on so much of the real Jesus because we're so stuffy! Suffer a lot when we can't identify with Jesus' sense of humour. (How many other examples can we think of? How many go completely over our head we're so busy being 'serious' about faith & life?) Just think how Church Councils, Reformation(s), the Inquisition, ecumenical relationships, the endless round of committees, synods, statutes etc. might have turned out if we could only laugh at ourself (as I reckon  God does at us!) Have a chuckle with a very human Jesus. (If we're made in God's image, what happened to the sense of humour along the way?) When we can laugh at ourselves we might stop trying to shore up security & position through taking over our / the world, lock stock & camel! And become like a little child, like the self-giving Son of God.

Breaching the human-to-human commandments Jesus shrewdly lists (omitting the more directly God- focused ones results from self-seeking & in even more self-centring.

Is our reaction to someone who doesn't 'measure up' as loving as Jesus'? Do we look at people, warts & all, & love them to bits?

Is it really hard to enter the kingdom (Rule) of God? Yes it is. Jesus says so. But if we let God do it for us, bring us in by his Spirit, it's as easy as a needle going through the eye of a camel!

P.S. How does the 'last being first & the first last' sit with today's 'win, win. win,' 'gold, gold, gold,' mentality?