The parable of the rich man asking Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. We all know how this story goes. We’ve heard it before: It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone rich to enter the kingdom of God. Even before Mark tells us, we know that the rich man will turn away grieving because he has just can’t stand the thought of giving up everything he owns. And, if we’re honest, some of us will grieve with him as well—because for many of us, his choice would also be our choice.
But if we read the story too quickly, we miss one of the most important parts. The rich man kneels. When he kneels, it is an authentic request to be healed. He wants to be healed of what is keeping him from being close to God. For us, it may not be possesions (it could be hurts, anxieties, fears) but it’s still there. The kicker of the story is that the rich man rejects the healing that Jesus offers him.
I think this story is particulary fitting with youth ministry. Lately, I have noticed that a lot of our youth are hurting. Some share openly, some don’t share at it. But what if you were to spend some time focusing on the idea of the healing power of Jesus? Healing, especially within the context of religion, may not be something we’re comfortable discussing. But Jesus really was a healer. And we too have the opportunity to be healed.